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Vol. 20 No. 10
November 2013
Christmas gifts and holiday reading
New this month:
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
Australian Literature
Farewell 2013
On the local scene, the stand outs for me until this month have been
Coetzee's extraordinarily original and enigmatic Childhood of Jesus,
Ashley Hay's poignant The Railwayman's Wife, Debra Adelaide's wise
and witty collection (the title story is absolutely outstanding) called
Letter to George Clooney, and Fiona McFarlane's splendidly poised
and sensitive The Night Guest, the best first novel I've read in ages.
And then, in October, along came Flanagan, Winton and Tsiolkas.
Phew. Each asks a lot of the reader: they are demanding to read and
cover tough terrain. But each is at the same time very rewarding. Eyrie
has stayed with me, not least because Tim Winton is an immensely
gifted writer, who makes beauty out of the grim subject he has set himself. And in The Narrow Road to the Deep North, I believe Richard
Flanagan has created a novel of transcendent worth. He has taken a
moment in history (the Burma Railway) and created something quite
unforgettable. My book of the year.
Seventeen-year-old Jed White lives with his mum and dad behind the
Ampol service station in the small coastal town of Plenty. His girlfriend Chrissy works in the local fish cannery. When a foreign trawler
crashes on the rocks one night, Jed and Chrissy figure from the rolls
of stained bedding below deck that the boat must have been carrying a
lot of people. They soon discover that dozens of refugees are sheltering at a nearby property.
Thinking holiday reading?
Why not catch up on some
2013 prize winners.
The Winter Sea by Di Morrisssey ($32.99, PB)
Escaping an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job, Cassie Holloway moves to the little NSW coastal town of Whitby Point. Here she
meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their
ancestor, Giuseppe, an immigrant Italian, some ninety years before.
Life for Cassie on the south coast is sweet as she sets up a successful
restaurant and falls in love with Giuseppe's great grandson Michael.
But when the family patriarch dies, a devastating family secret is revealed which threatens to destroy her dreams. Cassie's future happiness now rests with her quest for the truth.
Fiction: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson—the ground-breaking
story about a young man's passage through the prison camps and dictatorship of
North Korea. ($19.95, PB)
Biography: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count
of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss—Reiss, like the novelist Dumas before him,
triumphantly resurrects a lost hero, General Alexandre Dumas, the real count of
Monte Cristo. ($19.95, PB)
History: Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's
Vietnam by Fredrik Logevall—The Wall Street Journal says: 'monumental history . . . a widely researched and eloquently written account of how the US came
to be involved in Vietnam . . . certainly the most comprehensive review of this
period to date'. ($37.95, PB)
General non-fiction: Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland
Boys & the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King— Thurgood Marshall was
on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before
the US Supreme Court when he became embroiled in a case that threatened to
change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life. ($20, PB)
Poetry: Stag's Leap by Sharon Olds— In this emotional new collection from
'America's greatest living poet', Sharon Olds lays bare her divorce and the bones
of lost love. Her most powerful collection yet. ($24, PB)
THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION (the prize formerly known as Orange):
May We Be Forgiven by A M Homes—Adultery, accidents, divorce and death,
a savage and dizzyingly inventive vision of contemporary America, whose dark
heart Homes penetrates like no other writer. ($20, PB)
MILES FRANKLIN AWARD: Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser— de
Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of
the way we live now. ($23, PB)
Troy Bramston has worked
as a policy and political
adviser in government,
opposition and the private
sector. He is a former
principal speechwriter for
Kevin Rudd and an adviser
to the Rudd government. He
has also written speeches for
several other Labor politicians,
including Julia Gillard.
Troy now works as a columnist and leader writer with The
Australian newspaper and as a contributor to Sky News.
Gough Whitlam
Troy Bramston
Michael Kirby
Bob Carr
Frank Bongiorno
Graham Freudenberg
Nick Cater
Richard Farmer
Malcolm Mackerras
Gerard Henderson
MAN/BOOKER PRIZE: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton— Written in
pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, Luminaries is also a ghost story,
and a gripping mystery. ($30, PB)
He is the author of Looking for the Light on the Hill:
Modern Labor’s Challenges (Scribe, 2011). The Canberra
Times described it as ‘the best of the current crop of
books charting new Labor’. The Courier-Mail said, ‘Troy
Bramston’s book is a stand-out. His elegant prose and
bold criticisms make it hard to put down, and its blend
of history, current affairs and ideas for the future make it
impossible to ignore’.
Evan Williams
Ralph Willis
John Nethercote
Eric Walsh
Rodney Tiffen
John O’Mahony
John Deeble
Michael Hogan
Brian Howe
Susan Ryan
Troy is also editor of The Wran Era (The Federation Press,
2006) and co-editor of The Hawke Government: A Critical
Retrospective (Pluto Press, 2003). His is currently finalising
a book of essays on the Whitlam Government to be
published in late 2012.
His feature articles, opinion pieces and book reviews have
been widely published in the nation’s leading newspapers,
magazines and academic journals.
Troy has an economics degree with honours from The
University of Sydney and a master’s degree in politics
and international relations from The University of New
South Wales.
NOBEL PRIZE: Choose from any of the many collections of Alice Munro's
short stories. Try starting with her Booker winner Hateship, Friendship,
Courtship, Loveship, Marriage ($24.95, PB)
In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the
Governor-General for his services towards the Centenary of
Federation commemorations.
He lives in Sydney and has two children, Madison
and Angus.
Special Lau
The Whitlam Legacy - Troy Bramston (ed)
Funding the Future considers the nature of the fiscal crisis
confronting Australian local government, including the local
infrastructure backlog, and seeks to answer the question: What can
be done to place local government on a sound financial footing?
The authors focus on Australian fiscal federalism and the place of
local government in this structure, and distinguish between ‘holistic
sustainability’ as distinct from the narrower ‘financial sustainability’.
They provide a critical assessment of methodologies and findings
of the various national and state public inquiries into financial
sustainability in local government and make a detailed assessment
of different approaches to local infrastructure funding, including
an Australian municipal bond market, a Commonwealth local
infrastructure fund, municipal banking and an Australian local
infrastructure financing authority.
While the emphasis falls squarely on Australian local government,
Funding the Future draws extensively on both the international
conceptual and empirical literature. It is essential reading for
anyone interested in Australian local government.
For the first time, Gough Whitlam, ministers,
advisers, public servants, party and union
insiders provide a unique account of this turbulent
period in Australian politics. They reveal what
worked and what didn’t, and shed light on the
ISBN 9781862879034 personalities driving the engines of change.
RRP $59.95
The Whitlam Legacy provides the definitive
account of the government that changed Australia
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Legal Limits - Nicholas Hasluck
Acclaimed novelist and former judge, Nicholas
Hasluck, delves into the relationship between law
and literature in this thought-provoking book.
ISBN 978-1-86287-898-3
Cover design
Wide open Media
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9 781862 878310
Australian local government has faced relentless financial
pressure for decades, with many councils maintaining current
service levels at the cost of neglecting infrastructure renewal.
The result has been the emergence of a local infrastructure backlog
far exceeding the fiscal capacity of most local authorities.
Various attempts have been made to relieve this pressure, including
forced council mergers. However, these attempts at remediation
have largely failed to achieve ongoing financial sustainability in
local government. Other avenues must be pursued if the third tier
of government is to remain viable.
The election of the Whitlam government in 1972
marked a turning point in 20th century Australia.
Shaking off the vestiges of two decades of
conservative rule, Gough Whitlam brought new
ideas, new policies and new people to the task of
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tionect ectatur itiore incil iuntiis eosandant.
Leigh Hatcher
Kep Enderby
Doug Everingham
Bill Morrison
Carol Johnson
Geoff Kitney
Paul Kelly
Barry Jones
Moss Cass
Vivien Encel
ISBN 978-1-86287-831-0
C O V E R D E S I G N Wide Open Media
Edited by Troy Bramston
Dollery • Kortt • Grant
funding the future
Friday 22nd
November 20
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Michael Easson
John Kerin
Mary Kalantzis
Frank Brennan
Patricia Amphlett
Gordon Bilney
George Williams
Michael Sexton
Peter van Onselen
New Text Australian Classics, $12.95 each
A Lifetime on Clouds by Gerald Murnane
(introduced by Andy Griffiths)
Down in the City by Elizabeth Harrower
(introduced by Delia Falconer)
Finally, I'm so pleased that for once I was genuinely delighted by the
announcement of a Nobel prize. Gleebooks is full of readers utterly
devoted to Alice Munro, the Canadian writer whose short stories across
the last forty years have transformed the genre, while adding immeasurably to our pleasure and understanding. If you've missed her until
now, you've a treat in store (start with Runaway or Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage) and if you've read everything
she's written, you'd better take her word that she's put her pen away for
good, and start rereading. She's worth it.
David Gaunt
Plenty by John Dale ($15, PB)
As a reader, 2013 has been dominated by some very good new fiction,
much of it Australian. The outstanding international publication of the
year for me was Phillip Meyer's The Son, set in 19th and 20th century
Texas, across five generations of one family. It's a novel of enormous
power, passion and deeply imagined truths about past and present.
I didn't know George Orwell came to Sydney. But a quirky new
website does—kind of. For books, subjects and people with a
strong Sydney focus, check out:
It always seems odd to say Happy Christmas and farewell to the year,
when it's months away, but, then again, it's a monthly newsletter which
finishes in November each year. So, on behalf of Gleebooks, season's
greetings to you, our readers and gleeclub members, and thanks for
your loyal interest and custom for the year. Again, considering the turmoil and pace of change in the book industry, we're pleased to still be
here, really, given how tough trading is. And, on behalf of Roger and
myself, I'd like to thank our knowledgeable and dedicated staff, and
acknowledge Viki, our gleaner editor, for producing a publication of
which we're all proud. We love it and hope you do too. And, we hope
you find lots of goodies (and plenty of bargains) in the publication
which replaces the gleaner over summer, our Summer Reading Guide
which our subscribers will get in mid November (it will be in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday 18th as well).
Shame and the Captives by Tom Keneally ($32.95, PB)
In Gawell, NSW, a prisoner-of-war camp to house European, Korean
& Japanese captives is built close to a farming community. Alice is
a young woman living a dull life with her father-in-law on his farm
while her new husband first fights, then is taken prisoner, in Greece.
When Giancarlo, an Italian POW & anarchist from Gawell's camp,
is assigned to work on their farm, Alice's view of the world and her
self-knowledge are dramatically expanded. But what most challenges
Alice & the town is the foreignness of the Japanese compound & its
culture, entirely perplexing to the inmates' captors. Driven by a desperate need to
validate the funerals already held for them in Japan, the prisoners vote to take part in an
outbreak, and the bloodshed & chaos this precipitates shatter the certainties & safeties
of all who inhabit the region.
9 781862 878983
ISBN 9781862879386
RRP $49.95
Traversing a wide range of topics including
preventative detention of sexual offenders, postcolonial literature, restrictions on freedom of
speech and the role of constitutional conventions
in the Whitlam dismissal, Hasluck’s ruminations and
insights provide a nuanced view on the workings of
the legal system and show how literature can give
meaning to the practice of the law. After all, due
process depends upon stories being told well.
Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas
His whole life, Danny Kelly's only wanted one thing: to win Olympic gold. Everything he's ever done takes him closer to that moment of glory, of vindication, when the world will see him for what
he is: the fastest, the strongest and the best. His parents struggle
to send him to the most prestigious private school with the finest swimming program; Danny loathes it there and is bullied and
shunned as an outsider, but his coach is the best and knows Danny
is better than all those rich boys, those pretenders. Danny's winat-all-cost ferocity gradually wins favour with the coolest boys—
he's Barracuda, he's the psycho, he's everything they want to be but don't have the
guts to get there. He's going to show them all. ($32.99, PB).
An Elegant Young Man by Luke Carman
For a long time Western Sydney has been the political flashpoint of the nation, but it has been absent from Australian literature. Luke Carman’s first book of fiction is a collection of
monologues and stories, which tells it how it is on Australia’s
cultural frontier. His young, self-conscious but determined hero
navigates his way through the complications of his divorced
family, and an often perilous social world, with its Fobs, Lebbos, Greek, Serbs, Grubby Boys & scumbag Aussies, friends
& enemies. He loves Whitman & Kerouac, Leonard Cohen &
Henry Rollins, is awkward with girls, and has an invisible friend called Tom. Carman’s style captures the voices of the street, and conveys fear and anger, beauty and
affection, with a restless intensity. ($19.95, PB)
The Birdwatcher by William McInnes ($29.99, PB)
William McInnes' new book is about a bloke who's losing his hearing; a bird that can't fly but likes being read to; and a teenage
daughter who doesn't know who to be angry at. It's about a woman
living with the echo of illness, finding out how much fun it can
be to trust someone; and a man called Murph who has a secret.
It's part love story and part Hot Diggity moments of discovery,
whether they happen in a rainforest or while sitting on a verandah,
or in somebody's heart. It's about cold outdoor showers and people not quite being complete. But, most of all, it's about giving
yourself the gift to be still while you wait for the lights to change
or the rain to stop, so you have time to think.
The Tailor's Girl by Fiona McIntosh ($29.99, PB)
When a humble soldier, known only as Jones, wakes in a military
hospital he has no recollection of his past. Jones's few fleeting
memories are horrifying moments from the battlefield of Ypres.
His identity becomes a puzzle he must solve. Then Eden Valentine arrives in his world, a stunning seamstress who dreams of
her own high-fashion salon in London. Mourning the loss of her
brother in the war, Eden cannot turn away the soldier in desperate
need of her help. The key to Jones's past—and Eden's future—
may lie with the mysterious Alex Wynter, aristocratic heir to the country manor Larksfell Hall. But the news that Alex bears will bring shattering consequences
that threaten to tear their lives apart.
Happy Eva After by Chris Harrison ($29.99, PB)
As a teacher at the Fawlty Towers of London language colleges, Sebastian Pink is accustomed to confusion caused by the complexities of
the English language. Married to Sarah, a career woman who has long
been a total workaholic but is now desperate for a baby, Sebastian
feels ambivalent about becoming a parent. These days his social life
revolves around walking his dog & obsessively completing the daily
cryptic crossword. When an alluring Czech student called Eva becomes one of Sebastian's students—and inadvertently provides him
with the last solution in his morning crossword—he finds himself
drawn into a sordid suburban tangle based mainly on his own misinterpretations & feverish imagination.
Elianne by Judy Nunn ($32.95, PB)
In 1881 ‘Big Jim' Durham, an English soldier of fortune & profiteer,
ruthlessly creates for Elianne Desmarais, his young French wife, the
finest of the great sugar mills of the Southern QLD cane fields, and
names it in her honour. The massive estate becomes a self-sufficient
fortress, a cane-consuming monster and home to hundreds of workers. But many years later, for 60s generation Durhams, Kate her
brothers Neil & Alan, freedom is the catchword of the decade. And
as the workers leave the great sugar estates as mechanisation lessens
the need for labour, the Durham family, its secrets exposed, begins its
fall from grace.
Standing in the Shadow by Peter Corris ($24.95, PB)
Peter Corris' new collection explores the sexual underside of life in
Sydney. 'These long stories have an effortless readability ... they show
a bracing command of the range of human feeling, an alert sympathy to the kinship, under the skin, of every form of erotic itch and a
fictional virtuosity in the range of sympathies evoked. The prose is
expert, the dialogue is 'overheard' and there is, almost incidentally,
a superb command of the nuances and differences of history in this
record of human desire.' Peter Craven
Now in B Format
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton, $23
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
by Sebastian Faulks ($32.95, PB)
Jeeves is back! Bertie Wooster, recently returned from a very
pleasurable sojourn in Cannes, finds himself at the stately home
of Sir Henry Hackwood in Dorset. With marriage on his mind,
Bertie has love-struck eyes for Sir Henry's ward Georgiana, but
to maintain his beloved Melbury Hall, the impoverished Sir
Henry has struck a deal that would see Georgiana becoming Mrs
Rupert Venables. Meanwhile, Peregrine ‘Woody' Beeching, one
of Bertie's oldest chums, is desperate to regain the trust of his fiancée Amelia, Sir
Henry's tennis-mad daughter. Why would all this necessitate Bertie having to pass
himself off as a servant when he has never so much as made a cup of tea? Could it
be that the ever-loyal, Spinoza-loving Jeeves has an ulterior motive?
wodehouse 3 for two
Summer Lightning; Meet Mr Mulliner;
Joy in the Morning; Cocktail Time;
The Code of the Woosters; Right Ho, Jeeves;
Uncle Fred in the Springtime;
Carry On, Jeeves
$19.95 each
Buy 2, get one free
The Mijo Tree by Janet Frame ($21.99, HB)
'But the mijo seed had other ideas for herself. She wanted so
much immediately to live a life of ease and power.' The Mijo
Tree is a never-before published novella from New Zealand literary great, Janet Frame. It was written between 1956 and 1957
during Frame's time in Ibiza and has remained in the Hocken
Library archive since 1970.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Shanghai, 1905. Violet Minturn is the young daughter of the
American mistress of the city's most exclusive courtesan house.
But when revolution arrives in the city, she is separated from her
mother in a cruel act of chicanery & forced to become a 'virgin
courtesan'. Through the lives of Violet and her mother, The Valley of Amazement spans 50 years & two continents to resurrect
lost worlds: from the moment when China's imperial dynasty collapsed, a Republic arose, and foreign trade became the lifeblood
of Shanghai, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the
lives of the foreign 'Shanghailanders' living in the International Settlement, both
erased by World War II. ($30, PB)
Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk ($29.95, PB)
Watch out Dante, Madison Spencer, the snarkiest dead girl in the
universe, continues the afterlife adventure begun in Chuck Palahniuk's Damned. After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds
herself trapped in Purgatory—or, as mortals like you and I know it,
Earth. No longer subject to physical limitations, her first stop is her
parents' luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her
long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers
memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie & her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth
of those months, her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning.
Madison has been in Satan's sights from the very beginning, as through her and her
narcissistic celebrity parents he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation—for
The Lives of Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from
severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon
August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly
develops a clinical interest in his house guest. Stella had been
working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember
anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. Travelling from England to America
and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing tale about love
and the meaning of memory. ($30, PB)
Steam by Terry Pratchett ($45, HB)
A new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork and steam is rising
over the 40th Discworld novel, driven by Mister Simnel, the man
wi' t'flat cap and sliding rule who has an interesting arrangement
with the sine and cosine. Master of the Post Office, the Mint and
the Royal Bank, Moist von Lipwig will have to grapple with gallons of grease, goblins, a fat controller with a history of throwing
employees down the stairs, and some very angry dwarfs if he's
going to stop it all going off the rails.
International Literature
The Two Hotel Francforts by David Leavitt
It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon is one of the only neutral ports
left in Europe—a city filled with spies, crowned heads & refugees of
every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time until
their escape. Awaiting safe passage to New York on the S. S. Manhattan, two couples meet: Pete & Julia Winters, expatriate Americans
fleeing their sedate life in Paris; and Edward & Iris Freleng, elegant,
independently wealthy, bohemian—beset by the social & sexual anxieties of their class. Swept up in the tumult, the hidden currents of the
lives of these four characters—Julia's status as a Jew, Pete & Edward's
affair, Iris's increasingly desperate efforts to save her tenuous marriage—begin to come
loose as Europe sinks into war. ($30, PB)
Granta 125: After the War ($28, PB)
It is not just nations that are made & destroyed by war—families are
scattered, boundaries of loyalty redrawn. This issue of Granta explores the aftermath of conflict. Patrick French writes of a great uncle
whose death in WW2 transformed the family line. A powerful new
story by Thomas McGuane tells of fraternal rivalry & the truth of a
mother's past. A new essay by Aleksandar Hemon recounts a friend's
separation from his father during the Balkan Wars. From the familial
to the global, here is what happens when the weapons are set down,
brought to life in fiction, poetry, reportage and memoir.
Also New
Paris Review Issue 206: Autumn 2013, $24.99
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope ($29.99, PB)
When Fanny Dashwood descends on Norland Park with her Romanian
nanny and her mood boards, Belle Dashwood's three daughters, Elinor,
Marianne and Margaret must face the reality of life without their father,
their home, or their money. As they come to terms with life without the
status of their country house, or the comfort of an inheritance, Elinor
and Marianne are also confronted by the cold hard realities of a world
where sometimes people's attitudes can change as drastically as your circumstances. Joanna Trollope casts an elegant & fresh new light on the
romance, bonnets & betrothals to create a wonderfully witty coming-ofage story about the stuff that really makes the world go around, and how when it comes
to money, some things never change.
The Good House by Ann Leary ($29.99, PB)
Hildy Good has reached that dangerous time in a woman's life—
middle-aged & divorced, she is an oddity in her small but privileged
town. But Hildy isn't one for self-pity & instead meets the world with
a wry smile, a dark wit and a glass or two of Pinot Noir. When her
two earnest grown-up children stage 'an intervention' & pack Hildy
off to an addiction centre, she thinks all this fuss is ridiculous. After
all, why shouldn't Hildy enjoy a drink now & then? But as the story
progresses, we start to see another side to Hildy Good, and to her life's
greatest passion—the lies and self deceptions needed to support her
drinking, and the damage she causes to those she loves. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behaviour of one threatens to
expose the other, with devastating consequences.
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol
When her chronically unemployed husband runs off with his mistress
to start a crocodile farm in Kenya, his wife, mother of two, Josephine
Cortès must make ends meet on her meagre salary as a medieval history scholar. Meanwhile, Josephine's charismatic sister Iris seems to
have it all, a wealthy husband, gorgeous looks, & a trés chic Paris address, but secretly she dreams of bringing meaning back into her life.
And then a dinner party changes the sisters' destinies. Iris is seated next
to a famous book publisher to whom she spins a tale of the 12th century
romance she's writing. Iris charms him into offering her a lucrative
deal for her book, then offers her sister a deal of her own: Josephine
will write the novel & pocket all the proceeds, but the book will be published under Iris's
name. All is well—until the book becomes the literary sensation of the season.($30, PB)
Local Souls by Allan Gurganus ($41, HB)
Gurganus returns to Falls, N.C., the setting of his Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, with this trio of linked novellas. Fear Not
subjects a smalltown golden girl to horrific loss, an unplanned pregnancy, and a lifetime of wondering about the fate of her baby. The
protagonist of Saints Have Mothers reluctantly sees her luminous,
gifted daughter off on a global adventure, and has her worst fears
realised. In Decoy, a family history gets spun out as a backdrop to the
retirement of the town's senior physician, a friend and confidant to
the narrator, Bill Mabry.
Now in B format
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, $19.99
A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy, $19.995
A customer with whom I used to work in another bookshop, brought a book to
my attention which I recognised immediately by the cover image before I even
saw author or title. It was the The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor —its
cover matching the two previous books of his travels. This is the final part of the
three volumes covering his walk from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople.
The first parts of this journey are covered in A Time of Gifts & Between the
Woods & the Water. I have read these books many times, and I was thrilled to see
this third volume. Broken Road was actually put together by Colin Thubron &
Artemis Cooper, his literary executors, from notes he had been working on at the
time of his death. Leigh Fermor was 18 in 1933 when he set out on his big adventure. The Time of Gifts covers the first part of his trek across Europe. His plan was
to get away from his troubles (he had been expelled from his school) by taking to
the road. Carrying little & living on about one pound a day, he slept in barns, haylofts & cheap hotels, consorting only 'with peasants & tramps'. This journey took
him up the Rhine & down the Danube, covering the history & culture of a now
vanished world. Along the way he visited the great cities of Hamburg, Munich,
Vienna & Prague. His journey is continued in Between the Woods & the Water.
After crossing the Danube, where the previous volume left off, he arrives at the
Iron Gates in Romania, after going through Slovakia, Hungary & the now lost
province of Transylvania. Again he meets a wonderful cast of characters whilst
staying in cottages & castles. So onto the new volume, which I am absolutely
loving. Between 1964 & 1965 Leigh Fermor started writing something he called
A Youthful Journey. This forms the basis of The Broken Road, which takes him
from The Iron Gates to Mount Athos. Leigh Fermor had also kept a 'Green Diary'
& this, written at the time of the journey, not years later as with the two previous
volumes, is what the story of his time on Mount Athos is based on. The authors
say that it was always Greece that he wanted to reach, for although he did reach
Constantinople, he wrote very little about it & its Byzantine or Ottoman splendour—after only eleven days he left for Greece. These books abound with Leigh
Fermor's personality, his keen observational powers, his ability to make friends
& feel at home wherever he finds himself. I must mention another of his books,
A Time to Keep Silence. This I have also read many times. It tells of his several
stays in some of Europe's oldest monasteries. He stays at St Wandrille, known for
great art & learning, Solemnes, famous for its Gregorian chants, & at La Grande
Trappe, where monks take a vow of silence. He also visits the rock monasteries
of Cappadocia, seeking traces of the earliest Christian anchorites. More than
a travel book, this is a meditation on the meaning of silence & solitude for a
modern world. Then, lastly, there is the biography of Leigh Fermor by Artemis
Cooper, who confessed that as a 37-year-old she fell in love with a man in his
late eighties. William Dalrymple, another favourite of mine, says 'Cooper's book
is the perfect memorial to this remarkable man'. Leigh Fermor's three books of
travel are not his only claim to fame. On the outbreak of war he fought in Greece
& Crete & was involved in the daring abduction of German general in 1944.
Some time ago, I was staying with an old school friend, to whose mother I gave
the two volumes of the travels to read. This she did with a big atlas on the table in
front of her to trace Leigh Fermor's routes through the countries of Europe. She
said she had a wonderful time, feeling herself his fellow traveller.
I will just mention a few books I have read & loved this year. Starting with Telling the Bees—the story of a lonely, isolated man, his philosophy & his bees, and
the trouble that ensues when he becomes involved with the women next door. I
loved the description of the bees going about their very busy lives. Also, a book
that has stayed with me is Maggie O'Farrell's The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, a disturbing story in which the 'bad character', Esme, refuses to marry the
man chosen for her, and is placed in a home, severed from all contact with her
family. At the moment I am almost finished the latest O'Farrell, Instructions
For A Heatwave (I do tend to read more than one book at a time ). The story of
an Irish family living in London, which begins with the father going out to buy
the paper & never returning home. It is 1976 & England is in the grip of a great
drought & the heat & lack of rain, along with the shadow of IRA bombings affects the whole family. Something I found particularly disturbing is the inability
of one of the daughters to read. I cannot for a moment imagine what this would
be like.
I was looking forward to reading the latest Andrea Camillleri, The Treasure
Hunt, featuring the wonderful Inspector Montalbano & picked it up with great
glee when it arrived in store. It has the funniest (and most tragic) beginning of
any of Camilleri's books & I actually laughed out loud at Montalbano, gun in
hand, on a fire engine's ladder dodging bullets from the apartment above. Imagine my disappointment, when not long into the book, I realised I'd seen it on
DVD. This book was first published in 2010, but it has taken until now to become
available in Australia. However, I have to say it is one of his best & I read it
again, anyhow. These are great books to read over the holiday season—to take to
the beach, or just sitting in your living room with a nice cool drink beside you.
Happy holiday reading to all our Gleaner readers.
Janice Wilder
Crime Fiction
Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky ($29.99, PB)
V. I. Warshawski's closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born
doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust.
Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. When Kitty's daughter finds
her life is in danger, she calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V. I. to
help. The daughter's troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of
lies, secrets & silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition
to develop the first atomic bomb. V. I.'s 16th case!
Lineup by Liad Shoham ($29.95, PB)
After a brutal rape disturbs a quiet Tel Aviv neighbourhood, baffled
detectives find no clues, no eyewitnesses, and no suspects. But the father of the shattered victim refuses to rest until justice is done, and begins his own investigation. Keeping watch over his daughter’s apartment from the street, he notices Ziv Nevo lurking in the shadows, and
hands him over to the police. All circumstances, and the victim, point
to Nevo’s guilt—case closed. Detective Eli Nachum is eager to wrap
up this high profile case, which has threatened to thwart his career.
But why does the suspect keep silent during the interrogation? What
secret is he hiding?
Cartwheel by Jennifer Dubois ($29.95, PB)
When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad,
she is enchanted by everything: the colourful buildings, the street
food, the elusive guy next door. Her studious roommate, Katy, is a
bit of a bore, but Lily hasn't come to Argentina to hang out with other
Americans. Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their
shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes?
It depends on who's asking. As the case takes shape—revealing deceptions, secrets, and suspicious DNA—Lily appears alternatively
sinister & guileless through the eyes of those around her.
The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live
with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous personal
detective. It is 1882, and no sooner does March arrive than a case
presents itself: a young woman has been brutally murdered, and her
husband is the only suspect. The victim's mother is convinced of her
son-in-law's innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney's fee herself. The investigations lead the pair to
the darkest alleys of the East End: around them London reeks with
the stench of poverty & gossip, the case threatens to boil over into
civil unrest and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing
in mortal danger. ($29.99, PB)
Sycamore Row by John Grisham ($39.99, HB)
In the sequel to A Time to Kill, Jake Brigance returns to the courtroom
in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured
history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the
hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the
thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American
Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story
by Diane Setterfield ($29.99, PB)
As a boy, William Bellman kills a rook with his catapult & this one
small cruel act appears to have unforeseen & terrible consequences.
By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he
seems, indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes,
& the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder
if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one
precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange
bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre
business. And Bellman & Black is born.
The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales
by Kate Mosse ($29.99, PB)
A wonderfully atmospheric collection of short stories, rooted deep
in the landscape and inspired by traditional folk tales and country
legends from England and France. These tales are richly populated
by ghosts and spirits seeking revenge; by grief-stricken women and
haunted men coming to terms with their destiny—all rooted deep in
the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc.
Cockroaches: An Early Harry Hole Case
by Jo Nesbo ($32.95, PB)
Harry Hole arrives in a steaming hot Bangkok. But it's work not
pleasure. The Norwegian ambassador has been found dead in a seedy
motel room, and no witnesses have come forward. The ambassador
had close ties to the Norwegian Prime Minister, and to avoid a scandal Harry is sent there to hush up the case. But he quickly discovers
that there is much more going on behind the scenes and very few
people willing to talk. When Harry lays hands on some CCTV footage that will help him unravel what happened that night, things only
get more complicated. The man who gave him the tape goes missing,
and Harry realises that failing to solve a murder case is by no means
the only danger in Bangkok. DUE IN DECEMBER.
The Tournament by Matthew Reilly ($40, HB)
In 1546 Suleiman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, issues an invitation to every king in Europe to send their finest player
to compete in a chess tournament to determine the champion of the
known world. The English delegation is led by esteemed scholar Roger
Ascham, accompanied by his pupil Bess. But on the first night of the
tournament, a powerful guest of the Sultan is murdered, and Ascham is
tasked with finding the killer. Barbaric deaths, unimaginable depravity
and diplomatic treachery unfold before Bess' eyes, indelibly shaping
her character and determining how she will perform her future role... as
Queen Elizabeth I. Even a pawn can become a queen.
Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher ($30, PB)
When Hirsch heads up Bitter Wash Road to investigate gunfire he finds
himself cut off without back-up. A pair of thrill killers has been targeting isolated farmhouses on lonely back roads, but Hirsch's first thought
is that 'back-up' is nearby—and about to put a bullet in him. That's because Hirsch is a whistleblower, formerly a promising metropolitan officer, now demoted and exiled to a one-cop station in South Australia's
wheatbelt. But the shots on Bitter Wash Road don't tally with Hirsch's
assumptions. The truth turns out to be a lot more mundane. And the
events that unfold subsequently, a hell of a lot more sinister.
Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes ($29.99, PB)
The 1st in a new crime series featuring DCI Louisa Smith. In the crisp,
early morning hours, the police are called to a suspected murder at a
farm outside a small English village. A beautiful young woman has
been found dead, blood all over the cottage she lives in. At the same
time, police respond to a reported female suicide, where a car has fallen
into a local quarry. As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence, they discover a link between these two women, a link which has
sealed their dreadful fate one cold night, under a silent moon.
The Double by George Pelecanos ($29.99, PB)
Spero Lucas is a young Iraq vet working as a PI in Washington DC
who has a sideline in finding lost items—the kind of items the owners
can't go to the police about. This time Spero is trying to find a painting
belonging to a sexy young woman who was scammed out of it by a
super-smooth con artist, part of a team of ruthless thugs. When Spero
tracks the painting down the woman is brutally attacked to warn him
off. However, when Spero takes the gang out one by one in their isolated house in the woods, the question must be asked: have his experiences in Iraq turned him into an amoral killer no better than the crooks
he's up against?
A unique picture book for
young and old that celebrates
inspirational women from
around the world and across
A novel of propulsive
psychological suspense and
rare moral nuance
‘An astonishing, breathtaking, and
harrowing read.’ THE NEW
The search for the real
Douglas Mawson
‘Typical David Day. Wonderfully
constructed. Extraordinarily
incisive. Regularly revelatory.’
The Prey by Tony Park ($29.99, PB)
Deep underground in the Eureka mine, South Africa's zama zamas illegally hunt for gold. King of this brutal underworld is Wellington Shumba, who rules his pirate miners through fear of torture & death. Running
Eureka's legitimate operation is former recce commando Cameron McMurtrie. When one of his engineers is taken hostage, Cameron intends a
rescue, and manhunt for Wellington— until corporate interference from
the mine's Australia head office, in the shape of ambitious high-flyer
Kylie Hamilton, gets in his way. But she & Cameron end up forced
into a partnership to fend off an environmental war above ground, and
a deadly battle with a ruthless killer below.
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich ($29.99, PB)
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess
with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore 'Uncle Sunny' Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it's up to Stephanie to find him.
Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice),
and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo
girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton's
hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because (just Stephanie's
luck) the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing
everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill ($30, PB)
On the gulf of Thailand, the Juree family are managing their run-down
beach resort for the second year, still stalked by disaster. Daughter
Jimm has a new love in her life, but finds herself pursued by another
man with a markedly different agenda in mind. Meanwhile, Jimm's new
case is that of Dr Somluk, a champion for the rights of rural mothers,
who is missing following a run-in with the marketeers of infant formula. As ever, there is blood, brine and bedlam aplenty at the Gulf Bay
Lovely Resort.
Dust by Patricia Cornwell ($39.99, HB)
The body of a young woman has been discovered inside the sheltered
gates of MIT, draped in ivory linen and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that
the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces
blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence
links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC.
As she pieces together the fragments of evidence, Scarpetta discovers
that the cases connect, yet also seem to conflict, drawing herself and her
team deeper into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology,
organised crime, and shocking corruption at the highest level.
The English-language debut of
the internationally bestselling
author Liad Shoham
‘A brilliantly constructed crime
‘A fantastic story from an
incredible Australian [and] a must
read for everyone who loves
Australia.’ DICK SMITH
The year in politics as seen by
Australia’s funniest and most
perceptive political cartoonists
— brilliantly witty, and always
Moving among Strangers: Randolph Stow and
My Family by Gabrielle Carey ($29.95, PB)
As her mother Joan was dying, Gabrielle Carey wrote a letter to
Joan's childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow.
This letter set in motion a literary pilgrimage that revealed
long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown
up in Western Australia. After early literary success & a Miles
Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he
left for England and a life of self-imposed exile. Living most
of her life on the east coast, Carey was also estranged from her family's West Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow's writing, she became fascinated by his connection with her mother, but before she could meet him
he died. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Carey embarked
on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside
town of Harwich to understand her family's past and Stow's place in it.
Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books
by Claudia Roth Pierpont ($34.95, PB)
Philip Roth has produced some of the greatest literature of the
past hundred years. And yet there has been no major critical
work about him. Claudia Roth Pierpont delves into the many
complexities of Roth's work and the controversies it has raised
to tell the story of Roth's creative life. This is not exactly a biography—though it contains many biographical details—but an
attempt to understand a great writer through his art. Pierpont,
who has known Roth for several years, peppers her account
with conversational details, providing insights & anecdotes previously accessible
only to a very few, touching on Roth's family, his inspirations, his critics, the full
range of his fiction, and his literary friendships with such figures as Saul Bellow
and John Updike.
Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee
Penelope Fitzgerald (1916–2000) was a great English writer,
who would never have described herself in such grand terms.
Her novels were short, spare masterpieces, self-concealing,
oblique and subtle. She won the Booker prize for her novel
Offshore in 1979, and her last work, The Blue Flower, was acclaimed as a work of genius. Fitzgerald's life is as various and
as cryptic as her fiction. It spans most of the twentieth century,
and moves from a Bishop's Palace to a sinking barge, from a
demanding intellectual family to hardship and poverty, from a life of
teaching and obscurity to a blaze of renown. She was first published at sixty and
became famous at eighty. She liked to mislead people with a good imitation of an
absent-minded old lady, but under that scatty front were a steel-sharp brain and an
imagination of wonderful reach. Hermione Lee pursues her life, her writing, and
her secret self, with fascinated & infectious interest. ($52.95, HB)
Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of
a Wider Circulation (ed) Shaun Usher
This is a collection of over 100 letters: from Virginia Woolf's
heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe
for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first
recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston
Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from
Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan,
to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter.
Correspondents include Zelda Fitzgerald, Iggy Pop, Fidel
Castro, Leonardo da Vinci, Bill Hicks, Anais Nin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Amelia
Earhart, Charles Darwin, Roald Dahl, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Dorothy
Parker, JFK, Groucho Marx, Charles Dickens, Katharine Hepburn, Kurt Vonnegut,
Mick Jagger, Steve Martin, Emily Dickinson and many more. ($49.99, HB)
Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life
by Graham Nash ($45, HB)
Graham Nash, lead singer and principal songwriter of the Hollies, then member of supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young,
made the incredible and possibly unique journey from 60s
Manchester to Swinging London to sunny California. In this
candid autobiography, Nash tells it all: growing up in poverty
in postwar Manchester, founding the Hollies with schoolfriend Allan Clarke and the incredible success that followed,
friendships with all the great British bands of the 60s including the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks, decamping to America and becoming
the lover and muse of Joni Mitchell (for whom he wrote Our House), achieving
superstardom with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. From London to
Laurel Canyon, Nash's is one of the great rock and rock stories—befitting someone
who has been inducted not once but twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Now in B Format or Paperback
The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj
by Anne de Courcy, $23
C. S. Lewis: A Life—Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet
by Alister Mcgrath, $22.99
Cezanne: A Life by Alex Danchev, $35
Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir ($34.95, PB)
Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that
she was a woman. The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at 17 she
was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive. The
probable murders of her brothers (The Princes In The Tower), left
Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York and, in 1486, Henry
VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor, married her, thus uniting the red and white roses of Lancaster and York. Elizabeth is an
enigma. She had schemed to marry Richard III, the man who had deposed and probably
killed her brothers, and it is likely that she then intrigued to put Henry Tudor on the
throne. Yet after marriage, a picture emerges of a model consort, mild, pious, generous
and fruitful. Alison Weir builds an intriguing portrait of this beloved queen, placing her
in the context of the magnificent, ceremonious, often brutal, world she inhabited, and
revealing the woman behind the myth, showing that differing historical perceptions of
Elizabeth can be reconciled.
Priscilla: The Hidden Life of an Englishwoman in
Wartime France by Nicholas Shakespeare
When Nicholas Shakespeare stumbled across a box of documents
belonging to his late aunt he was completely unaware of where this
discovery would take him. The Priscilla he remembered was very
different from the glamorous, morally ambiguous young woman
who emerged from the many love letters and journals, surrounded
by suitors and living the dangerous existence of a British woman
in a country controlled by the enemy. He had heard rumours that
Priscilla had fought in the Resistance, but as he investigated his
aunt's life, dark secrets emerged. What caused the breakdown of Priscilla's marriage to
a French aristocrat? Why had she been interned in a prisoner-of-war camp and how had
she escaped? And who was the 'Otto' she was having a relationship with as Paris was
liberated? Priscilla's story shows the precariousness of life in occupied France, when
loyalties were compromised and life could change in an instant. ($24.95, PB)
Banana Girl by Michele Lee ($29.95, PB)
Michele Lee describes herself as the ‘fence-sitting’ middle child
in a large Hmong-Australian family. Banana Girl is the explosive
and poignant memoir of her rites of passage. Sexy, irreverent and
nuanced, Lee isn’t afraid to lay herself and her relationships bare.
Intimacy in an on-line world, sexual adventures and Gen Y yearnings, turning thirty as an Asian-Australian woman in inner city
Melbourne, and the travails of becoming an artist, all capture
Lee’s riveting gaze. The result is a book that is erotic, witty and
revealing, a gutsy true story of self-acceptance that takes hold
and won’t let go.
Report from the Interior by Paul Auster ($28, PB)
Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in
Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster
now remembers the experience of his development from within,
through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world.
From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon to his childhood
worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe, to the composition
of his first poem at the age of nine to his dawning awareness of
the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts
Auster's moral, political and intellectual journey as he inches his
way toward adulthood through the post-war fifties and into the turbulent 1960s.
Travel Writing
A Country in Mind by Saskia Beudel ($30, PB)
After a period of loss, and much change, Saskia Beudel began walking. Within 18 months she had walked in the Snowy Mountains, twice
along the South Coast of Tasmania, the MacDonnell Ranges west of
Alice Springs, the Arnhem Land plateau in Kakadu, the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, and in Ladakh in the Himalayas.
Throughout the course of her journeys, she experienced passages of
reverie, of forgetfulness, of absorption in her surroundings, of an immense but simple pleasure, and of rhythm. Her book contrasts her internal landscape
with the external landscape, considering her relationships with her family in the context
of environmental and anthropological histories.
Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto ($33, PB)
Amsterdam is not just any city. Despite its relative size it has stood
alongside its larger cousins—Paris, London, Berlin—and has influenced the modern world to a degree that few other cities have.
Sweeping across the city's colourful thousand year history, Russell
Shorto brings Amsterdam to life: its sights and smells; its politics
and people. Concentrating on two significant periods—the late
1500s to the mid 1600s, and then from the Second World War to
the present—Shorto's masterful biography looks at Amsterdam's
central preoccupations. Just as fin-de-siècle Vienna was the birthplace of psychoanalysis, seventeenth century Amsterdam was the wellspring of liberalism, and today it is still
a city that takes individual freedom very seriously. A wonderfully evocative book that
takes Amsterdam's dramatic past and present and populates it with a host of colourful
characters, Amsterdam is the definitive book on this great city.
Le Shop Guide: The Best of Paris for the Fashion
Traveller by Michi Girl ($40, PB)
There's no denying that French women know how to dress. And
this book tells you where they shop. Michi and her friends have
scoured the streets of Paris to bring you the coolest, the chicest, the
very best shops in this fashionable city—for fabulous, accessible
fashion. Here is pure shopping gold: names, addresses, opening
hours and website details of over 100 places for clothes, bags,
shoes, flea markets, department stores and vintage goods. These
are shops that many of us won't have heard of but they are established and well-regarded brands in France. With perfectly designed days to suit your
every mood, Michi will guide you from blow outs to budget bliss, flea markets to Fendi,
with cafés and food stops included.
Also New
Rome Secrets by Susan Wright ($59.99, HB)
Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair
Travel by Bernd Stiegler ($42.95, HB)
Armchair travel may seem like an oxymoron. Doesn’t travel
require us to leave the house? Then again—no passport, no
currency, no security screening required—the luxury of armchair travel is accessible to all. Organised into 21 'legs', or
short chapters, Traveling in Place begins with a consideration
of Xavier de Maistre's 1794 Voyage de autour de ma chambre, an account of the forty-two-day 'journey around his room'
that de Maistre undertook as a way to entertain himself while under house arrest.
Stiegler is fascinated by the notion of exploring the familiar as though it were completely new and strange. He engages writers as diverse as Roussel, Beckett, Perec,
Robbe-Grillet, Cortázar, Kierkegaard, and Borges, all of whom show how the everyday can be brilliantly transformed. Like the best guidebooks, Traveling in Place
is more interested in the idea of travel as a state of mind than as a physical activity,
and Stiegler reflects on the different ways that travelling at home have manifested
themselves in the modern era, from literature and film to the virtual possibilities of
the internet, blogs, and contemporary art.
Naples: A Way of Love
by Carla Coulson & Lisa Clifford ($50, HB)
Naples: City of Blood, City of Miracles. City of Contradictions and Secrets, Luck and Superstition, Danger and Incredible Kindness. Photographer Carla Coulson and writer
Lisa Clifford know this dazzling, magical city intimately:
in this book they take you on a journey through the Naples
most tourists never see. Walk with them down hidden cobblestoned alleyways lit by shrines to the saints and into ancient crypts filled with skulls; taste the myriad sweets and
pastries for which the city is famous, and learn the art of arrangiarsi—all fuelled by
pizza, the city's signature dish, and coffee, always coffee.
Ride Like Hell and You'll Get There: Detours
Into Mayhem by Paul Carter ($23, PB)
Attempting 300 kph on an untested experimental motorcycle
could be considered a perfect way to kill yourself, but Paul
Carter is still, well, Paul Carter, and danger at high speed is his
second name. Whether discovering that being dyslexic means
delivering your lines to camera back to front in the midst of
filming a TV series, or starting a new business and travelling
the world, or dealing with life's more sober moments like the
birth of a son or the loss of a father, Paul Carter is still the funniest man in the bar and the nicest alpha male you'll ever meet as he risks all
for the sake of a good story.
Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George
Herbert by John Drury ($50, HB)
George Herbert was born in 1593 and died at the age of 39 in
1633, before the clouds of civil war gathered, his family aristocratic and his upbringing privileged. He showed worldly ambition
and seemed sure of high public office and a career at court, but
then for a time 'lost himself in a humble way', devoting himself
to the restoration of the church at Leighton Bromswold in Buckinghamshire and then to his parish of Bemerton, three miles from
Salisbury, whose cathedral music he called 'my heaven on earth'.
Because he published no English poems during his lifetime, and dating most of them
exactly is impossible, writing Herbert's biography is an unusual challenge. In this book
John Drury sets the poetry in the whole context of the poet's life and times, so that the
reader can understand the frame of mind and kind of society which produced it, and
depth can be added to the narrative of Herbert's life.
The Bucket: Memories of an Inattentive Childhood by Allan Ahlberg ($24.99, HB)
In his first book for adults, Allan Ahlberg sets out to recover
or otherwise conjure up the early years of an oddly enchanted
childhood lived out in a Black Country town in the 1940s. He
writes of 'fugitive memories, the ones that shimmer on the edges of things: trapdoors in the grass, Dad's dancing overalls'. He
writes of childhood and the end of childhood, Flash Gordon
and the Claymen, Sir Isumbras at the Ford, and the memorable circumstance of his own four parents: 'Two mothers, two
fathers and me like a parcel or a baton (or a hot potato!) passed between them.' In a mix
of prose and verse, supported by documents, drawings and old photographs, The Bucket
retrieves a childhood which lovers of the Ahlbergs' classic picture book Peepo! might
feel they have glimpsed before but which is now exquisitely brought to life.
Despite the fact that they often ended in board & game pieces flying, I fondly
remember the school holiday board game tournaments my brothers & I used
to hold. The only distinctly Australian game ever to enter into these fierce
competitions was Squatter—apparently the most successful board game ever
developed in Australia. Until now! I was recently honoured to be a tester for a
game a couple of friends, Tess Shannon and Libby Blainey, were developing:
QuestionTime!®—a game about Australian politics and political history. It's
being launched at Gleebooks on Sunday November 10th.
Viki: Obviously they exist, but I've never met anyone who developed a
board game—how did it all start?
Tess Shannon: I created the game some years ago as a birthday present for,
John Faulkner, who I've known for a long time. At that stage it was just a question and answer game. We had a great time playing it that night, and afterwards
John encouraged me to develop it further, saying that it 'had legs'. I thought
it would be great to create a game that might inspire Australians to re-engage
with politics (and learn about it) whilst being entertained. So I set to work
researching Australian politics and political history and amassed more than
1,500 questions. Enter Libby Blainey. Libby is a board game enthusiast, and
her first question to me was: 'Where's the strategy?' This was a key moment
in development, where the game became more than just general knowledge,
but a game of politics and strategy. A lot of people, including friends, would
confess to not knowing much about Australian politics or political history, so
we introduced strategy cards into the game play—and Bingo! Anyone could
win provided they used these cards wisely and played them with rat cunning
against other players! The idea is to win, at any cost—just like the real thing!
Libby also brought her experience and skills as an accomplished graphic artist to the game, and the reults speak for themselves. Her graphics beautifully
reflect the ambiance of the Australian House of Representatives, as well as the
history of the Australian parliament with all the past Prime Ministers represented on the board.
Viki: Plus artwork from cartoonist Jenny Coopes! The game looks seriously like—the real thing. So how do you play? Or more importantly, how
do you win?
Tess: To win you need to be the first player (or team) to present three Acts to
Parliament. You travel the game board from the Backbenches to the Frontbench (or Ministry), where you can present the Acts. You dice your way
around the Backbench and depending on where you land you have to answer
questions (don't worry, they're mostly multiple choice), or follow instructions
on cards such as The Party Room or The Press Gallery—being rewarded (or
punished) with various Bill cards & strategy cards along the way. Land on the
Filibuster space and you have to make a speech for one minute on a set subject.
Viki: The Filibuster is a great element—and good practice for public
speaking. The game can get pretty rowdy with all the horse trading and
back-stabbing and coalition-forming going on.
Tess: Yes, you need a strong Speaker to keep order. Especially when you're
playing in teams—which is a great way to play for those who don't feel confident about their politics and history knowledge. You can help each other out—
timing, strategy, luck and rat cunning can beat even the most knowledgeable
of opponents.
Viki: So, John Faulkner is launching the game at Gleebooks on Sunday
10th—will you be playing an exhibition game?
Tess: Yes, we will play the game but not the full game. Instead we'll have a set
up like a TV game show. John Faulkner will be the Speaker of the House. He'll
ask for contestants to volunteer from the audience and form teams of three. I've
had a chocolate wheel made (a whole other story!), which John will spin. The
subject it lands on decides the question John will direct to the contesting teams.
It could be a portfolio question—Sport, The Arts, etc. Could be a question
about Australian political history. Could even be a Filibuster.... But beware!
The Rat could pilfer all your hard earned points. The winning team will win a
copy of the game!
Australian Studies
Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
by Stephen Dando-Collins ($45, HB)
Henry Parkes, the father of federation, received little schooling—he
worked on a rope-walk, breaking stones, as an ivory & bone turner,
ironmonger & on the wharves before trying business life & ultimately
politics. He & his first wife travelled to Australia on an assisted passage. His friends included Thomas Carlyle, fellow poet Lord Tennyson
and British Prime Minister Gladstone. He convinced Florence Nightingale to send trained nurses to Australia, and conceived the international rabbit competition,
which led to the Pasteur affair and put Australia at the forefront of microbiology. Whenever
he received begging letters, (which he did, daily), Parkes always wrote back enclosing money. No wonder he went bankrupt three times! Yet he was Premier of NSW five times, leaving
its finances well in the black every time. Stephen Dando-Collins' brings this colossus to life.
Coast: A History of the New South Wales Edge
by Ian Hoskins ($64.99, HB)
From Eden to Byron Bay the NSW coast is more than 2000 kilometres long, with 130 estuaries, 100 coastal lakes and a rich history.
Ian Hoskins' history of the coast traces our relationship with this
stretch of land and sea starting millennia ago when Aboriginal people feasted on shellfish & perfected the art of building bark canoes,
to our present obsession with the beach as a place to live or holiday.
The book leads the reader through the European fascination with marine life, the attempts to establish a whaling industry, the fear of sea
borne invasion which led to the creation of a navy of our own in 1911 through to the rise of
our unstoppable enthusiasm for surfing and fishing.
A Country Too Far: Writings on Asylum Seekers
(eds) Rosie Scott & Thomas Keneally ($29.95, PB)
One of the central moral issues of our time is the question of asylum
seekers, arguably the most controversial subject in Australia today. In
this anthology, 27 contributors, including Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Elliot Perlman, Gail Jones, Raimond Gaita, Les Murray, Rodney Hall & Geraldine Brooks, focus on the theme of the dispossessed,
bringing new perspective to what has become a fraught, distorted war
of words. This anthology of fiction, memoir, poetry and essays confirms that the experience of seeking asylum—the journeys of escape
from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise—is part of the Australian
mind set and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.
Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War
by Joan Beaumont ($55, HB)
The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli
have become the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war
fought by the families at home. Joan Beaumont brings the war years to
life: from the well-known battles at Gallipoli, Pozières, Fromelles and
Villers-Bretonneux, to the lesser known battles in Europe and the Middle East; from the ferocious debates over conscription to the disillusioning Paris peace conference and the devastating 'Spanish' flu the soldiers brought home.
We witness the fear and courage of tens of thousands of soldiers, grapple with the strategic
nightmares confronting the commanders, and come to understand the impact on Australians
at home and at the front of death on an unprecedented scale.
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright
The story of the Eureka Stockade is one of Australia's foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants
were there. What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we
learnt about in school were actually husbands & fathers, brothers &
sons? And what if there were women & children inside the Eureka
Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a
barrage of bullets? As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of
women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles.
The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves
make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own. ($45, HB)
The Australian Welfare State: Who benefits now?
by Greg Marston et al ($59.95, PB)
In 1992, Australian sociologist Lois Bryson published what proved
to be an important book entitled Welfare and the State: Who benefits?
The central feature of this text was an exploration of the actual, as
opposed to assumed, nature of the redistribution of resources via the
Australian welfare state. Following on from Bryson’s work, this book
assesses trends in poverty and inequality in Australia from 1992 to the
present and describes and evaluates the institutions that make up the
Australian welfare state. Taking Bryson’s initial analysis as the baseline, the authors illustrate the major structural & institutional developments in the Australian welfare state, and
in the Australian economy & society, over this same period. The book analyses political and
policy responses to poverty and inequality in Australia and assesses the extent and direction
of redistribution in key areas of state activity. It also outlines the links between Australians’
conceptions about welfare and the redistributive outcomes of the welfare state, canvassing
theoretical explanations about why many Australians develop and maintain misconceptions
of the broad distributive mechanisms of the Australian welfare state and hold negative attitudes towards its social welfare element.
Ned Kelly: The Story of Australia's Most Notorious
Legend by Peter FitzSimons (49.95, HB)
Historians still disagree over virtually every aspect of the eldest Kelly boy's brushes with the law. Did he or did he not shoot Constable
Fitzpatrick at their family home? Was he a lawless thug or a noble
Robin Hood, a remorseless killer or a crusader against oppression and
discrimination? Was he even a political revolutionary, an Australian
republican channelling the spirit of Eureka? From Kelly's early days
in Beveridge, Victoria, in the mid-1800s, to the Felons' Apprehension
Act, which made it possible for anyone to shoot the Kelly gang, to
Ned's appearance in his now-famous armour, Peter FitzSimons brings the history of Ned
Kelly and his gang exuberantly to life, weighing in on all of the myths, legends and controversies generated by this compelling and divisive Irish-Australian rebel.
Spooked: The Truth About Intelligence in Australia
(ed) Daniel Baldino (34.99, PB)
Terrorist acts, most notably 9/11 and the Bali bombings, transformed
our attitudes to the secretive world of intelligence, surveillance & security. In this book a selection of writers including Michael Mori, Ben
Saul, Anne Aly and Peter Leahy lay bare the facts about spying &
security in post-9/11 Australia. The collection cuts through panic &
fear-mongering to ask the questions: Is ASIO unaccountable? Is the
money we spend on security worth it? Is cyber-terrorism an urgent
threat? Are our spies up to the job, and how do we know anyway as
we only hear about their failures? Is WikiLeaks good for human rights? Are we trading our
privacy for a false sense of security? Spooked untangles the half-truths, conspiracy theories
& controversies about the ‘war on terror’.
The Reef: A Passionate History by Ian McCalman
Ian McCalman describes twelve key encounters between people, places, ideas and biosystems. In the 19th century the region was infamous
for shipwrecks, and when Indigenous clans rescued survivors like
Eliza Fraser, their actions were misrepresented in the popular press.
Later, the whole world caught the fiery debate between Darwinists
and creationists over the origins of this colossal structure. Artists and
visionaries celebrated its beauty and fought its exploitation; marine
scientists catalogued the threats to its existence. The first social, cultural and environmental history of this World Heritage-listed site, The
Reef is an effortlessly readable work by a born storyteller. (45, HB)
New This Month:
The Best Australian Political Cartoons 2013
(ed) Russ Radcliffe, $29.95
Behind the Lines 2013:
The Year's Best Cartoons, $19.99
End of the Road? by Gideon Haigh ($10, PB)
Australia is one of just thirteen countries in the world equipped
to take a car from design concept all the way to a showroom—
a remarkable achievement in a market so small. Yet the industry
has few friends, and many vociferous critics who argue that the
country should not make cars at all. In this engaging and insightful
analysis for the lay reader, Gideon Haigh explains why the industry has become an ideological battleground, and reveals the more
complex and surprising truth behind the partisan rhetoric.
The Stockmen: The Making of an Australian
Legend by Evan McHugh ($49.95, HB)
Evan McHugh presents the fascinating history of the stockmen &
women who have carved a living from the rugged ranges of the
high country to the vast arid heart of the outback. Richly illustrated
with archival images & documents, as well as stunning contemporary photographs, the book tells the story of the stockmen throughout the ages, taking in legendary stock routes like the Murranji &
Birdsville Track, the roles of Aboriginal workers & stockwomen,
and the trials & triumphs of life in the stock camp. The voices of
stockmen throughout the ages are woven together to capture the
epic scale of the famous cattle stations, how the industry has shaped the country,
and the unique pleasures of the stockman's life.
Aboriginal Studies
Clan: The Bangarra Dance Theatre
by Greg Barrett & Stephen Page ($60, HB)
By having its feet in both worlds of old and modern, Bangarra,
Australia's premier Indigenous performing arts company, creates
contemporary theatrical experiences that are influenced by timeless stories and customs. The land shapes the people, the people shape the language, the language shapes the songs, and the
songs then determine the dance—and the spirit flows through it
all. 2014 marks Bangarra's twenty-fifth year, and this lavish photographic look at one of Australia's foremost dance companies,
honours this milestone and those people who have inspired Bangarra over the years.
NEW from Cambridge
Australia 1943: The Liberation of
New Guinea
Edited by Peter Dean
Australia 1943 explores the high point of
Australia’s influence on operations and strategy in
the South West Pacific, a campaign that has been
traditionally overshadowed by the drama of Kokoda.
© 2013
ISBN 9781107037991
The Australian Army from Whitlam
to Howard
John Blaxland
The Australian Army from Whitlam to
Howard is the first critical examination of Australia’s
post-Vietnam military operations, spanning the 35
years between the election of Gough Whitlam and the
defeat of John Howard.
© 2013
ISBN 9781107043657
Anzac Journeys: Returning to the
Battlefields of World War Two
Bruce Scates
With characteristic empathy, Bruce Scates charts the
history of pilgrimages to Crete, Kokoda, Sandakan and
Hellfire Pass. He explores the emotional resonance that
these sites have for those who served and those who
© 2013
ISBN 9781107020672
Coranderrk: We will show the country
by Giordano Nanni & Andrea James ($24.95, PB)
The battle for Coranderrk was one of the first sustained campaigns for justice, land rights and self-determination. Proud
of their culture, their community and their award-winning
farm, the Kulin people (led by William Barak) lobbied against
the Aboriginal Protection Board and greedy local landowners, who wanted them removed. The authors foreground the
events which led to the protest campaign, the 1881 Parliamentary Inquiry, and the aftermath. In verbatim-theatre,
professional actors rescue Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal witnesses from dusty
archives, allowing them to speak to a contemporary audience. Coranderrk now
allows all readers that same access.
A Boy's Short Life: The true Story of Warren
Braedon / Louis Johnson
by Anna Haebich & Steve Mickler ($17.99, PB)
Warren Braedon, named by his adoptive parents Louis St
John Johnson, was taken from his mother in Alice Springs
at just three months old. Told he had been abandoned, Louis’s adoptive parents, Bill & Pauline Johnson raised him in
a loving family in Perth. Despite a happy childhood, Louis
was increasingly targeted by school bullies & police for his
Aboriginality. As he grew older, his need to meet his natural family
prompted visits to Alice Springs with his parents, but they were thwarted by bureaucracy. He was planning to return to Alice Springs when, walking home on his
19th birthday, he was brutally murdered by a group of white youths whose admitted motive was ‘because he was black’. Originally published in the seminal history
of the Stolen Generations, Broken Circles by Anna Haebich, this story captures
the dark heart of racism in modern Australia.
First Footprints: The epic story of the First
Australians by Scott Cane ($35, PB)
Some 60,000 years ago, a small group of people landed on
Australia's northern coast. They were the first oceanic mariners and this great southern land was their new home. Australia's first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an
afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the
human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in
trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately,
they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and farreaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia. First Footprints chronicles this using astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral
histories and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth.
books for kids to young adults
NOT just for children
compiled by Lynndy Bennett, our children's correspondent
As ever, there are far more books to enthuse about than there is space on these pages, but we’ve highlighted some of our recommendations of
books you might not see everywhere, and of course we hope you will come in to experience the full splendour of literary offerings. Thank
you to all our customers who continue to shop with us, supporting an independent bookshop and keeping Australians employed, instead of
contributing to the demise of ‘real’ specialists by financing overseas online companies. Happy Christmas, and keep reading! Lynndy
Picture Books
Sam and Julia at the Theatre: Book 2 of Mouse Mansion
by Karina Schaapman
One of our bestselling books last year and selling well through this year as
well was the first Mouse Mansion book, featuring the adventures of timid
young Sam and feisty inquisitive Julia in just a few of the 100+ rooms of
Mouse Mansion. Now the inseparable mouse friends are back, and once
again you have the chance to wonder at the intricacy of the handmade rooms,
art and characters of this architectural marvel, while following the pair’s
latest exploits. These books are unusual, absorbing and highly collectable
treats! ($25, HB) Lynndy
Up & Down by Britta Teckentrup
for newly confident readers
A welcome trend by some publishers, in consultation with literacy experts, is to
reformat a range of picture books (often with slightly more sophisticated content) into junior readers. Books by authors such as Julia Donaldson and Chris
Riddell now encourage young readers to read favourites themselves as they
build vocabulary and reading fluency, without completely forgoing illustrations.
I was pleased to see Who Ate Auntie Iris? by Sean Taylor, (ill) Hannah Shaw
amongst the latest crop. Full-colour entertaining pictures foreshadow, and misdirect
the gaze as a trepidatious young chinchilla and her mum visit the peril-ridden apartment block where Auntie Iris lives, to discover she is missing! How will they determine which of the neighbouring carnivores ate her? Ask for the Time to Read and
Let’s Read series, for a step above more pedestrian early fiction. ($7–$12.95, PB)
Two Trickster Tales from Russia
retold by Sophie Masson
(ill) David Allan ($22.95, PB)
This very handsome addition to our folk tale
selection is the first book from new Australian publishing house Christmas Press, the aim of
which is to produce fine picture books of traditional tales from
diverse cultures. The quality of their debut, featuring a simple retelling of Masha & the Bear and The Rooster with the
Golden Crest, bodes very well for their future, with its superb design. There is drama
and whimsy in the colour and sepia artwork, which is rendered in classic European
style and offset by Russian motifs bordering each page. In place of endpapers are photographs showing details of an rustic cottage, taken by Masson on one of her trips to
Russia. If you aren’t already familiar with these tales, this is a splendid introduction.
Following soon are character toys to accompany the book, as well as further collections of folk tales. Next stop, Scotland!
So many reference books now are also arrestingly presented picture
books that beg to be dipped into and repeatedly consulted. Quite coincidentally, these two demonstrate the relevance of mathematics in the study
of the natural world and each is visually striking. Highly recommended!
Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
by Lola M. Schaefer (ill) Christopher Silas Neal
A little penguin misses his friend, and swims an epic journey to get to
her. This is a flap book of opposites, a tale of perseverance and adventure, all told in very few words, with superb illustrations, and brilliantly
simple paper engineering. With a palette that is quite muted and dark,
and shapes that are graphic and simple, the story has great clarity, and
even drama, in its restrained way. Wonderful book design—the font
used, the shape of the book, even the rounded corners—all contribute
to this outstanding book. ($15, PB) Louise
miscellaneous gems
Anorak Magazine
A quarterly publication aimed
at children aged 6–12, UK magazine
Anorak contains new illustrated stories,
activities, games and items relevant to today’s child readers. In keeping with their
wholesome principles, the Anorak team
use vegetable inks on recycled paper to
create their distinctive style. 'Anorak’s
main philosophy is to encourage children to tap into their imagination, use their creativity to learn and is here to amplify their
voices. It has at the core of its offering a passion for words and images that challenge and stimulate'. ($14.95, PB)
Wayland: The Tale of the Smith From the
Far North by Tony Mitton
(ill) John Lawrence
Artfully retelling the Viking tale of Wayland the blacksmith in lyrical rhyme, Mitton brings to life the talents
and tribulations of Wayland in this keepsake gloriously
illustrated by master woodcarver artist John Lawrence.
This is a real treasure for anyone from 8–adult. Simply
gorgeous. ($29.95, HB)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; The Maze Runner by James Dashner; The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney;
If I Stay by Gayle Forman; The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; The Selected Works of T S Spivet by Reif Larsen;
The Knife That Killed Me by Anthony McGowan; Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead; The 100 by Kass Morgan; Trash by Andy Mulligan;
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan; Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin; Divergent by Veronica Roth; The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp; The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.
it's beginning to look a lot like christmas
The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg
With Rudolf sick in bed who will guide Santa’s sleigh?
Rudolf suggests his sister Ruby, and despite a chorus of
complaints from the other reindeer about her underwhelming behaviour, there is no alternative. Keen to prove herself
Ruby makes a demure start but her natural exuberance soon
emerges, and Santa’s progress becomes a trail of misfortune
and chaos. Buoyant verse, winsomely expressive illustrations and a surprise ending make this a Christmas story for
everyone including those children concerned about appearing in the less exemplary column of Santa’s list of naughty
or nice. ($16, HB)
The Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore (ill) Holly Hobbie
Long ago I started collecting Christmas books, I was not discriminate and
ended up with shelves of them. So now I try very hard not to buy them, and
with a few notable exceptions, I have succeeded in my restraint. But I must,
I really must, buy this exquisite book from Holly Hobbie (the illustrator not
the greeting card character), it is an absolute treat. Clement Moore's familiar
poem comes to life with the beautiful illustrations of a truly old fashioned, gentle
Christmas. Yes there is snow, and crackling fires, but the warm detailed pictures transcend the clichés, and are closer to the family Christmas ideal than nearly any similar
book. ($25, HB) Louise
View from the 32nd Floor by Emma Cameron
Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at
Time by Steve Jenkins (24, HB)
You will be amazed at what can happen in one second: a bat
can make 200 high-pitched calls, a hummingbird beats its
wings 50 times, a very fast human can run 39 feet (12 metres).
And in one minute, a hungry horned lizard can eat 45 ants,
one at a time. And did you know that Mount Everest rises half an inch (1.25
cm) in one year? Packed with bite-sized fascinating facts, each accompanied
by an illustration in Jenkins’ usual cut-paper collage style, this book takes an
unusual look at how time passes and how we measure it. In the last few pages,
you’ll find a spiral diagram depicting the history of the universe, a graph
showing Earth’s human population from 1750 projected to 2050, a timeline
with the average life spans of plants and animals, and a brief history of time
and timekeeping. There’s also a short list of additional reading. Perfect for 5-8
year-olds, or anyone curious about our world. Mandy
This stunning book is full of fascinating details: a
giraffe will grow 508 centimetres tall, and have 200
spots on its body; a male seahorse will have 1000 baby
seahorses—and you can count them all on the page. And
it's full of beautiful pictures. The illustrator has managed to depict animals in their habitat, with veracity and
accuracy, and yet in an appealingly graphic, visually
satisfying way. Although this is a very North American
book (a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes in the
woods), it has universal appeal, and it’s encouraging to
see red kangaroos have their own pages (with a rather
surprising birth rate). There’s also a very interesting afterword explaining the
assiduous research and maths that went the calculation for each animal fact.
(24.95, HB) Louise
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan ($20, PB)
Two Boys Kissing follows the stories of several boys, whose
lives are all changing. Not one knows where they're going,
or if they've gone too far, but they do keep fighting... or they
don't. Levithan somehow manages to rip out the heart of the
reader, then sew it up and kiss it better with only a few words.
Two Boys Kissing is a set of stories that pushes its way into
your heart, and leaves you thinking. A phenomenon—a life
changing novel. Axel (age 14)
A point of discussion amongst the kids’ shop staff here
has been the prevalence of blockbuster movies (to use
cinema parlance) based on youth literature. Think of the
past few years: Shrek, The Hunger Games, The Perks of
Being a Wallflower, nearly every Disney film… Next
time you’re ensconced in that comfy cinema seat with
the refreshments of your choice (supersize that?), transported into other worlds or other lives, consider moseying into the teen/YA section of our bookshop to explore
the galaxies of talent, some of which is already recognised by film-makers. Lynndy & Meaghan
teen fiction
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff ($20, PB)
On the eve of their trip to visit Matthew, Mila’s father’s friend, they
learn he’s gone missing without a word. Mila accompanies her father
regardless and they arrive in the midst of a mystery hoping they can
help unravel it. Twelve year old Mila is up for the challenge, as she
discloses early on: 'Like my namesake, Mila the dog, I have a keen
awareness of where I am and what I’m doing at all times. I am not
given to dreaminess, have something of a terrier’s determination. If
there is something to notice, I will notice it first'. But as the mystery deepens and
revelations seem only to conjure more questions Mila discovers that the adult world
is more complex than she was prepared for and learns that even the most observant
person can notice the wrong things. A return to form for Rosoff, this is a road trip
mystery featuring an intelligent, slightly offbeat but instantly likeable narrator. James
'Something special has been gifted to you. Join your neighbours, Saturday, 6 pm, on the roof'. From his home on the
32nd floor, William—or Gregory Faust as he is calling himself
that day—watches with interest as a new family moves into
the apartment block across the street… New tenant Rebecca,
who happens to be around William’s age, immediately captures
his attention through a quirk of physiognomy—he notices with
interest that her left leg moves in an unusual way when she
walks—and when he sees her unpacking boxes of books onto shelves in her room…
well, that seals it. Would she go to his school, might he see her at the gardens, would
they be friends? It turns out the two have much in common & a firm friendship springs
up between them. William is brimming with good humour & energy, & Rebecca’s arrival becomes a real catalyst for change in the neighbourhood as their friendship starts
to ripple outward to include neighbours of all ages. And it’s here that William’s keen
observations of the neighbourhood come in handy…If you’re looking for intricate
plotting, breakneck action & high drama I’m afraid this is not the book for you. But if
it’s a gentle tale of friendship, respect, creating community & overcoming loneliness
you want – oh, and lots of delicious food – then you’re in the right place. From delightful cover to satisfying end, this short novel comes highly recommended. Suited to
readers from to the confident 6 or 7 year old reading independently, to those of about
9 or 10 years old. ($16.95, PB) Liesel
For similar books, try Hazel Green & others in the series by Odo Hirsch; The Mystery
of Antonio Guzman, also by Odo Hirsch; Five Times Dizzy & Dancing in the Anzac
Deli by Nadia Wheatley, all by Australian authors & all of which are still available.
Rebecca Stead’s magnificent New York mystery When You Reach Me, has much in
common with all of these and, as one of my favourite books of the past three or more
years, comes under the heading of 'indispensable'. All are for a slightly older readership but the parallels—urban settings & atmosphere, similar themes & a winning balance of simplicity & sophistication make them all worth seeking out.
The Christmas Quiet Book
by Deborah Underwood (ill) Renata Liwska
A staff favourite last year, unanimously deemed the best book
so far by Underwood and Liwska, this gentle reflective picture
book is a cosy antidote to some of the more strident Yuletide
stories. The characters wrought in Liwska’s soft pencil illustrations are shown preparing for Christmas in a series of familiar
activities such as decorating the tree, baking, and trying to stay
awake to greet Santa; and quietness is depicted as the gasp of
‘Shattered ornament quiet’ or anticipatory ‘Listening for sleigh
bells quiet’. As a book, this is modest perfection quiet.. ($20, HB)
toys & crafts
We have some wonderful craft books and craft supplies at
the moment.
Super-Cute Felt Animals by Laura Howard ($27.95, PB)
has 35 projects to make from felt, mainly animals, and they
are cute. Each design has clear step-by-step instructions,
with projects for all skill levels. I also like the Todd Oldham All About Series from Kid Made Modern—collage,
dyeing, embroidery and fabric printing each have their
own volume ($13.95, PB). These are fun and very contemporary, and are aimed at boys as well as girls. For a really
comprehensive (and beautiful) book for young people with
some sewing skills, Jane Bull’s Crafty Creatures ($25,
HB) is excellent. There are patterns of animals to knit and
sew, pictures to cross stitch, a sewing kit to make, and a
fabulous glossary of embroidery and knitting stitches. (I’m
thinking of taking this one home myself, there are some
very charming little animals I’d like to make).
We always stock children’s knitting needles, French knitting dolls, handmade crochet hooks and we also have some
very nice sewing kits, with everything a young sewer might
need, including handmade pincushions made from vintage
fabrics and felt strawberry needle sharpeners. Exclusive
to Gleebooks, each of these charming kits is individually
created, nestling in a medium ($19.95) or larger basket
($25.95), and supply is limited so we suggest you swoop
in quickly.
Dinosaur and fairytale shadow puppet sets have always
sold well at Gleebooks. Their simplicity and innate charm
(they are French toys after all), have kept them in high demand. So we are thrilled to have two more styles to add to
our range—Paris at Night (complete with roofs, a moon
and a chimney sweep), and The Circus (with all the usual
suspects), both $31.95. There is also a printed fabric theatre backdrop ($39.95) for putting on really professional
shadow plays.
Food, Health, Garden
The Icing on the Cake by Annabel Morley
With her grandmother the society beauty Dame Gladys Cooper,
and her father the renowned actor Robert Morley, Annabel Morley
was always going to lead an extraordinary life. Evoking an English childhood from a bygone era, Annabel Morley brings back to
life the magic and charm of growing up in a bohemian artistic &
quintessentially English family. Their house in Berkshire is the
backdrop to a wonderful array of events, peopled with the likes of
Vivien Lee, Lawrence Olivier and Spencer Tracy. Morley's memoir features not only unpublished photographs of the Morley lives,
private letters and personal memories of her travels to Sydney,
Venice and Hollywood during the glamorous 1940s and 50s, but also includes recipes served at family get togethers on both sides of the world. ($29.95, PB)
Tom Keneally at his
storytelling best
The Bread and Butter Project
by Paul Allam & Paul McGuinness ($39.99, PB)
Following the success of their first book, Bourke Street Bakery:
The Collection, Paul Allam & Paul McGuinness joined forces
with government & community groups to establish The Bread &
Butter Project, an accredited social enterprise & wholesale bakery
providing training & employment for refugees & asylum seekers—teaching them to be bakers. Containing basic dough recipes,
clear technique and a raft of mouthwatering variations on different styles of bread including polenta & rosemary, kipfler potato & parmesan, and orange, poppy seed & yoghurt
loaves, this book gives you a fully illustrated guide that will teach you to bake at home
like a professional.
New in the Global History of Food Series $25 each, HB
Salmon by Nicolaas Mink; Pineapple by Kaori O'Connor
Mushroom by Cynthia Bertelsen; Game by Paula Young Lee
Will Mozart Make My Baby Smart? And other
myth-busting tales of pregnancy and childhood
by Andrew Whitehouse ($30, PB)
Is there a more remarkable process than the creation of human
life? Aided by little more than a bottle of wine, a Barry White
tune and an agreeable mood, a woman and man can create a truly
extraordinary organism. In this book about the wonders of human
development, Dr Andrew Whitehouse takes on thirteen pregnancy and parenting myths: from whether tight jocks reduce sperm
health, to baby brain for pregnant mothers; from the imaginary
friends children create, to the impact of violent video games.
Seven Flowers & How They Shaped Our World
by Jennifer Potter ($45, HB)
The lotus, lily, sunflower, opium poppy, rose, tulip and orchid.
Seven flowers: seven stories full of surprise and secrets. These
are flowers of life and death; of purity and passion; of greed,
envy and virtue; of hope and consolation; of the beauty that
drives men wild. Where and when did these flowers originate?
What is the nature of their power and how was it acquired? What
use has been made of them in gardens, literature and art? These
are both histories and detective stories, full of incident, unexpected revelations, and irony.
Clean Living by Luke Hines & Scott Gooding
It is widely accepted that it takes around 21 days to change a
habit. Clean Living provides the perfect three-week overhaul
that will kickstart the journey to a healthy new you. With a fully
illustrated exercise program and a three-week menu plan of
mouth-watering, paleo-style food, Clean Living is the guide for
anyone who wants to change their life right now to be the very
best they can be. ($29.95, PB)
Toro Bravo: The Making, Breaking, and Riding of a Bull by
John Gorham & Liz Crain ($45, HB)
At the heart of Portland’s red-hot food scene is Toro Bravo,
a Spanish-inspired restaurant whose small plates have attracted a fiercely loyal fan base. At Toro Bravo, each dish
reflects a time, a place, a moment. For chef John Gorham,
it’s personal. Gorham believes that there’s more to food
than mere sustenance. The Toro Bravo cookbook tells that
story: from Gorham’s birth to a 14 year-old mother who
struggled all her life with drug addiction, to time spent in
his grandfather’s crab-shack dance club, to formative visits to
Spain, to becoming a father, to opening a restaurant.
World's Best Cakes: 250 Great Cakes from
Raspberry Genoise to Chocolate Kugelhopf
by Roger Pizey ($50, HB)
This book is a fabulous collection of globally inspired classic
bakes, from national favourites such as American Boston cream
pie and British Chelsea buns to exquisite small treats including
Russian walnut tea cakes and French madeleines. Each recipe
has been meticulously researched and perfectly baked by Roger
Pizey one of the world’s leading pastry chefs.
The Vintage Sweets Book by Angel Adoree
Take a delicious journey back to your favourite childhood treats,
with Angel Adoree who provides a mouth-watering selection of
retro sweet recipes to make with your friends and family. And
don't forget to add the vintage touch: presentation suggestions
throughout help you get the maximum impact when you serve
up your sweets. ($24.99, HB)
Le Livre Blanc by Anne-Sophie Pic ($69.99, HB)
Anne-Sophie Pic has taken the long-established culinary traditions of her family & her country & re-imagined them through
a contemporary & exhilarating approach to texture, form & flavour. The book includes 50 recipes that, like those of another
culinary inventor, Heston Blumenthal, both inspire & amaze.
From foams & emulsions, to working with sous-vide & siphons,
the recipes transform the everyday, and the not-so-everyday,
into the extraordinary.
Edible Garden Design: Delicious Designs from the
Ground Up by Jamie Durie ($50, HB)
Based on the Cowra Breakout of 1944, it explores the life of
WWII POWs and the impact they had on communities, through
a love story between a local woman and an Italian POW.
There’s so much more at
Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka by Bree Hutchins
Take an evocative journey into the heart of the real Sri Lanka with
intrepid photographer and writer, Bree Hutchins. On the reawakening Jaffna Peninsula, war widows cook crab curry and fry spicy
snacks, while in a remote eastern village, Sumith stirs vats of
smoky milk toffee over an open fire in a factory behind his home.
Bamini cooks thosai for the Hindu temple feast, and old William
boils up his Ceylon tea at Colombo's dawn wholesale market, just
as he's done every day for sixty years. And at Monaragala Prison,
in one of the poorest districts in Sri Lanka, the inmates prepare a
fragrant fish curry with pol roti. ($49.99, HB)
Wholehearted Food by Brenda Fawdon ($49.99, PB)
Founder of Australia's first licensed organic restaurant, Brenda is
passionate about using organic, unrefined & sustainable produce to
create nourishing meals that promote vitality, good health & wellbeing without losing out on flavour. This book includes recipes for
health-promoting fresh juices, nutritious breakfasts & delicious
meals that can be sourced from your veggie garden or local market, with alternatives for people who want their meals dairy—and
wheat-free. Chapters are devoted to sustainable seafood & ethical
meat & poultry. The mouth-watering desserts & lunch-box snacks
have been created using only unprocessed sugars.
The New Classics by Donna Hay ($59.99, HB)
Like Stephanie Alexander's The Cook's Companion or Maggie
Beer's Maggie's Harvest, this is the definitive Donna Hay cookbook. Absolutely up to the minute, featuring stunning photography and hundreds of mouthwatering recipes, the book contains old
family favourites as well as new delights, everything from beef and
ale pies to dulce de leche, from mac n' cheese to macarons.
The Agrarian Kitchen by Rodney Dunn ($60, HB)
When former Australian Gourmet Traveller food editor Rodney
Dunn moved from Sydney to Tasmania, he and his wife Severine set about transforming a nineteenth-century schoolhouse into a
sustainable farm-based cooking school. Nestled in a misty valley
outside Hobart, The Agrarian Kitchen struck a chord with people
seeking respite from fast-paced lives and a meaningful connection
with the food we eat and the land that produces it. This collection of recipes from the phenomenally popular cooking school celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking and eating in tune with the
seasons, and the rhythm of a life lived close to the earth.
Also New
Lucky Peach, Issue 9, 16.99
Botany for Gardeners by Geoff Hodge, $45, HB
Jamie Durie shows you how to create productive edible gardens
that look great. He gives you the lowdown on the design function
of each plant, and reveals how to incorporate edibles into even the
smallest of outdoor spaces without sacrificing style, using real-life
case studies in Australia and the US, from Jamie's mum's beloved
vegie patch and kids' community plots in Chicago to Matt Moran's
classic kitchen garden in Sydney and New York's buzzing green
produce markets.
Little Veggie Patch Deck of Cards ($19.99, BX)
For years Fabian Capomolla and Mat Pember have helped clients set
up edible gardens in polystyrene boxes on balconies, in crates you
can put anywhere in your backyard, or by creating no-dig, raised
garden beds. This deck features 26 individual cards on the most
popular vegetables from Apples to Zucchini, each complete with detailed planting information, ongoing maintenance advice, and tips on
best companions & when to harvest. There are also 6 fold-out recipe
cards, featuring dishes like beetroot & chocolate cake, zucchini &
dill fritters with whipped feta & pasta with broccoli.
My Little French Kitchen: Over 100 Recipes from
the Mountains, Market Squares and Shores of
France by Rachel Khoo ($39.99, HB)
From the snow-topped mountains and spice-laden Christmas markets of Alsace to the winemaking region of the Dordogne, the
dreamy vistas & sun-drenched vegetable dishes of Provence & the
well-stocked larders & coastlines of Brittany & Normandy, Rachel
Khoo visits some of the best-known foodie places as well as uncovering some hidden gems to share with you. Her delicious recipes include chicken in a pot with crispy garlic rice, pork & clams
with cider & butter beans, spicy aubergine sticks with couscous,
baked figs with walnuts, a beer-doused ham hock, buttery red currant pastries & spiced almond biscuits.
Seasonal Baking by Fiona Cairns ($49.99, HB)
Royal cake maker, Fiona Cairns, knows how important the seasons
are when creating delicious cakes. Not only are ingredients at their
very best and cheapest, but it also makes sense to be in tune with
the changing colours, moods and celebrations of the seasons. In
the spring, why not try baking early rhubarb and vanilla custard
cupcakes. On a hot summer's day enjoy a mango pavlova, and on
a cold winter's afternoon curl up by the fireside and share a slice of
chocolate and cardamom tart.
Virginia Woolf's Garden: The Story of the Garden
at Monk's House by Caroline Zoob ($49.99, HB)
Graham Nash, lead singer and principal
songwriter of the Hollies, then member
of supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash &
Young, made the incredible and possibly
unique journey from 60s Manchester to
Swinging London to sunny California.
And along the way he created many of the
iconic songs that defined a generation.
In this candid and riveting autobiography
Nash tells it all: friendships with the
Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks; the
love, the sex, the jealousy, the drugs,
and the magical music-making.
Wild Tales is one of the great rock and
roll stories.
Iain McCalman’s brilliant history of
the Great Barrier Reef, told in twelve
extraordinary tales, charts our changing
perceptions of it, from labyrinth of terror to
fragile global treasure.
‘History doesn’t get any more lively than this.
A stylish, racing read, The Reef surprises
with every turn of the page, investing one of
the world’s greatest natural structures with
human drama... Creates an entirely new
account of a natural marvel.’
Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan,
winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize.
In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven
of Australia’s finest writers focus their
intelligence and creativity on the theme
of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new
perspective of depth and truthfulness to
what has become a fraught, distorted war
of words. This anthology confirms that
the experience of seeking asylum – the
journeys of escape from death, starvation,
poverty or terror to an imagined paradise
– is part of the Australian mindset and
deeply embedded in our culture and
personal histories.
In the teeming, disordered, and sexually
charged square half-mile centred on
London’s Covent Garden something
extraordinary evolved in the eighteenth
century: the world’s first creative ‘Bohemia’.
Artists, actors, poets, novelists, and
dramatists rubbed shoulders with rakes,
prostitutes, craftsmen, and shopkeepers.
It was a world full of criminality, poverty
and feuds, but was also as culturally
creative as any other in history.
Illustrated by many rarely seen pictures,
Gatrell’s spectacular book recreates this
time and place, celebrating one of the most
fertile eras in artistic history.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf bought Monk's House in Sussex in
1919 as a country retreat, somewhere they came to read, write and
work in the garden. From the overgrown land behind the house
they created a brilliant patchwork of garden rooms, linked by brick
paths, secluded behind flint walls and yew hedges. Virginia wrote
most of her major novels at Monk's House, at first in a converted tool shed, and later in her
purpose-built wooden writing lodge tucked into a corner of the orchard. Caroline Zoob
lived with her husband, Jonathan, at Monk's House for over a decade as tenants of the National Trust, and has an intimate knowledge of the garden the Woolfs tended
and planted. This book of photographs and text is enriched with rare archive images and embroidered garden plans, and takes the reader on a journey through the various
garden 'rooms', (including the Italian Garden, the Fishpond Garden, the Millstone Terrace and the Walled Garden). Each garden room is presented in the context of the
lives of the Woolfs, with fascinating glimpses into their daily routines at Rodmell.
Eve nt
Gabrielle Gouch
allows Were Free
Once, Only the Sw
Amanda Hampson
To be launched by
Event—6 for 6.30
Panel: Rosie Scott, Gail Jones
and Debra Adelaide
Chair: Tom Keneally
Launch—3.30 for 4
The new board game of
Australian politics
To be launched by
Senator John Faulkner
There'll be a chocolate wheel
and prizes! See Page 10 for
an interview with one of the
game developers, Tess Shannon.
17 Launch—3.30 for 4
Kate Middleton
Ephemeral Waters
To be launched by Chris Andrews
‘Half elegy, half ode, this beautiful
book follows the course of the Colorado River, one of the great rivers of
the North American West, from its
headwaters in the Rocky Mountains
through the canyons and histories it
has sculpted to its final giving-up in
the Sonora desert.'
Launch—3.30 for 4
Pitt St Poetry Double
Geoff Page
Improving the News
Melinda Smith
Drag down to unlock or
place an emergency call
To be launched by TBC
13 Event—6 for 6.30
Breaking News: Sex, Lies and
the Murdoch Succession
In conv. with Jonathan Holmes
Murdoch watcher, journalist Paul
Barry, casts his eye on the Murdoch
succession as Rupert Murdoch gears
up for the toughest challenge of his
life—which of his children to hand
the empire to.
The Holy Fool: Artworks
Filled with his trademark, lunacy,
poignancy and arrow to the heart
wisdom here are the collected works
—from paintings, to sculpture, from
prints to drawings—of Australia's
most admired cartoonist together in
one book for the first time ever.
19 Event—6 for 6.30
20 Launch—6 for 6.30
Paul Barry
Event—6 for 6.30
David Day
Event—6.30 for 7
Geoffrey Robertson
Dreaming Too Loud:
Reflections on a Race Apart
in conv. with Meredith Burgmann
An incisive and witty collection of
Geoffrey Robertson's best writing,
including the transcript of a previously banned ‘hypothetical', and
reflections on worldwide problems
such as torture, terrorism and the
Catholic church.
The Best Australian
Oliver Fartach-Naini (guitar) and
Science Writing 2013
Peter Handsworth (clarinet), with
Poets, psychologists, comedians, cliguest appearance by accordion
mate commentators, neuroscientists,
player Amelia Granturdo.
star-gazers, novelists & science jourTickets $10
nalists contribute essays about life &
No free entry.
the universe.
Event—6 for 6.30
iss out!
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Sign up llen’s weekly
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Claire Wright
Found in Translation (QE 52)
In conv. with Benjamin Law
This is a free-ranging essay, personal and informed, about translation
in its narrowest & broadest senses,
about culture, difference & communication and about looking at international relations through the prism,
and occasionally prison, of culture.
Panel: Natasha Mitchell,
Glebe Music Festival Concert
Jane McCredie, Becky Crew
Concert Tangos by Piazzolla, Pujol,
& Chris Turney
Nelegatti, Charlton & Whittington.
Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles and
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
Secrets From Timor-Leste
In conv. with Chris Masters
Blending narrative history, travClaire
Wright tells the story of the
elogue, and personal reminiscences
this book shows the daunting hur- thousands of women present at the
dles that the people of Timor-Leste Eureka Stockade, many of whom
were active in pivotal roles.
must overcome to build a nation
from scratch.
Linda Jaivin
15 Free Event—6 for 6.30
Detour from the Rat Race
In conv. with Craig Reucassel
Changing Gears is a high-spirited
adventure charting ex inner-city advertising yuppie Greg Foyster’s remarkable, life-transforming cycling
challenge from Hobart to Cairns.
Event—6 for 6.30
Launch—6 for 6.30
Megan Watkins & Greg Noble
Michael Leunig
Panel: Gordon Peake, Maire
Greg Foyster
Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Sheehan, Rob Wesley-Smith
Disposed to Learn: Schooling, Ethnicity and the Scholarly Habitus
To be launched by Maxine McKew
This book explores the relationship
between ethnicity and dispositions
towards learning, with a focus on
primary school students of Chinese,
Pasifika and Anglo Australian
Flaws in the Ice:
In Search of Douglas Mawson
in conversation with Tim Bowden
David Day draws upon new evidence, the vast research he undertook for his international history of
Antarctica, and his own experience
of sailing to the Antarctic to search
for the real Douglas Mawson.
12 Event—6 for 6.30
A Country Too Far
27 essays focused on the theme of the
dispossessed and seeking asylum. All
profit from book sales on the night
will go to the Bridge for Asylum
Seekers Foundation.
Monday Nov. 25, 6pm. Tickets $7 / $5 / Gleeclub free
Peter FitzSimons—Ned Kelly:
The Story of Australia's Most Notorious Legend
Peter FitzSimons brings the history of Ned Kelly & his gang
exuberantly to life, weighing in on all of the myths, legends and
controversies generated by this Irish-Australian rebel.
Phillips Hall, Blackheath Area Neighbourhood Cntre
Gardiner Cres, Blackheath
Sunday Decembe
Blackheath Event
In December
Launch—3.30 fo8tr h4
All events listed are $10/$7 concession. Book Launches are free.
Gleeclub members free entry to events at 49 Glebe Pt Rd
Events are held upstairs at #49 Glebe Point Road unless otherwise noted.
Bookings—Phone: (02) 9660 2333, Email: [email protected], Online:
29 Launch—6 for 6.30
Marty Branagan
Global Warming, Militarism & Nonviolence: The Art of Active Resistance
To be launched by Lee Rhiannon
Marty Branagan uses Australian and international case studies
to show that non-violence is a viable
alternative to militarism for national
defence and regime change.
30 Launch—3.30 for 4
Wagga Wagga Writers
fourW twenty-four: New Writing
To be launched by Mark O'Flynn
At 24, fourW is one of Australia's
longest running annual anthologies
of new poetry & prose. Contributors
include Christopher Barnes, B.R.
Dionysius, Sulari Gentil, Keri Glastonbury & Corey Wakeling
New Releases
DVDs with Scott Donovan
Edith Piaf: The Documentary & The
Perfect Concert
Dead Europe:
Dir. Tony Krawitz
This 2 disc set offers an hour long documentary on Piaf's
life and career which is accompanied by live performances of her most popular songs, including La Vie en Rose
and Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. A compilation of 17 of her
songs, all recorded live in various concerts, is edited together to produce The Perfect Concert. ($32.95)
Christos Tsiolkas’ haunting novel
Dead Europe has been adapted for the
big screen by Tony Krawitz (Jewboy,
The Tall Man). It is the story of Isaac,
a thirty something photographer from
Sydney, who travels to Greece to return his father’s ashes to his ancestral
homeland. During a visit to his parents’ village he is told about the ‘curse’
which led his father to flee to Australia
never to return. He dismisses the story
as superstitious nonsense but as he
travels first to Paris and then to Budapest, where his brother is involved in
the murky world of drugs and child
prostitution, Isaac pieces together the
truth about his father—revelations that
would perhaps have been better left
buried in the past. Dead Europe is not
for the faint hearted – an uncomfortable dream-like film that is impossible
to forget. Scott ($21.95)
Chasing Ice: Dir. Jeff Orlowski
National Geographic photographer James Balog travels
across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of
the world's changing glaciers. As frightening and fascinating as it is breathtakingly beautiful, Chasing Ice is a hymn
to our changing planet, and a plea for its salvation. Special
features include: Audio Commentary with director Jeff
Orlowski and Extreme Ice Survey director James Balog
and coordinators Adam LeWinter & Svavar Jonatansson;
Making of Chasing Ice; Making the Time-Lapses; Glacier
Watching; and Film Festival Q&As. ($32.95)
The Place Beyond the Pines:
Dir. Derek Cianfrance
The Hunt:
Dir. Thomas Vinterberg
Thomas Vinterberg won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1998 at the tender age of 19. His winning
film, The Celebration, was anything but tender: a dark tale of an abusive relationship between
father and son in an upper middle-class Danish family. Vinterberg returns to the theme of child
abuse in The Hunt—the story of Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen), a pre-school teacher in a small
Danish town, who is accused of molesting one of his students (the 6 year old daughter of his
closest friend). Lucas is a respected and popular member of the community who is loved by
his students and a devoted father of a teenage son living with his ex-wife in a nearby town. All
this counts for naught, however, as fear and panic takes over the town and the innocent Lucas
is shunned by former friends and colleagues and subjected to a campaign of intimidation and
physical violence. Vinterberg's understated direction and the uniformly brilliant performances
from an unknown cast make for a convincing and chilling exploration of the darker excesses
of human nature. Highly recommended. ($32.95) Scott
Beware of Mr Baker: Dir. Jay Bulger
Ginger Baker is the mad, bad drummer best known for playing in Cream
and Blind Faith. One of rock's most colourful characters, his reputation
for drugs, violence and all forms of excess preceded him everywhere. Beware of Mr Baker includes revealing interviews with Eric Clapton, Steve
Winwood, Carlos Santana and others, which paint a fascinating portrait
of Cream's legendary scarlet-maned, hell-raising drummer. This no-holdsbarred, at time sad, and often hilarious portrait of the man referred to as
rock's first great drummer (and perhaps still its best) lets him tell his own
story, intercut with footage of his continent-hopping life, from London to
LA, Nigeria, Italy, South Africa, and (way) beyond. ($32.95, Region 2)
Top 5 TV series
Filmed on the 'Jurassic Coast' at West Bay in Dorset, David
Tennant & Olivia Colman star in this excellent crime drama involving the death
of a young boy and the search for his killer. $43.95 (Region 2 Import)
The Fall: Jamie Dornan is truly creepy as the serial killer, and Gillian Anderson is mesmerising as the cop who is hunting him, in this crime drama set in
Belfast. $42.95 (Region 2 Import)
Justified Series 4: Marshall Raylan Givens picks at the thread of a 30 year
old cold case to unravel a riddle that echoes all the way back to his boyhood and
his criminal father’s bad dealings. Plus there's a Pentecostal preacher interfering
with Boyd Crowder's criminal affairs. $49.95
Hollow Crown: Richard II, Henry IV (Parts 1 & 2) & Henry V:
A series that re-imagines the classic tetralogy of William Shakespeare’s most
celebrated history plays. $39.95 (Region 2 Import)
In the Footsteps of Alexander: Michael Wood embarks on a journey of
20,000 miles tracing the expedition of Alexander the Great in this captivating
documentary. $19.95
The Imposter: Dir. Bart Layton ($32.95)
In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappears without a trace from
San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later he is found
alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite
as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always
had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn't the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies?
It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes
an even stranger turn. If this was a fiction film you'd have trouble suspending
disbelief. Frédéric Bourdin, the unrepentant 23 year old French con artist who
perpetrates the fraud, is a character right out of a Hitchcock thriller. The family he suckers, is something Tobe Hooper might have created. Special features
include an audio commentary with Bart Layton, and a making of doco.
My Favourite viewing for 2013
Top 5 feature films
NO: Pablo Larrain revisits the Pinochet regime in the hilarious/frightening true story of
the media campaign that toppled a dictatorship. $34.95 (Region 2 Import)
In the House: Francois Ozon's black comedy about the creative process and the seductive power of literature. $33.95 (Region 2 Import)
The Hunt: See above $32.95
Tiny Furniture: Lena Dunham's first feature, a practice run for her awarding winning
TV series, Girls. $29.95 (Region 2 Import)
Weekend: A romantic drama about two men who meet and begin a sexual relationship
the week before one of them plans to leave the country. $32.95
Top 5 documentaries
Dust Bowl: Ken Burns' chronicle of the worst manmade ecological disaster in American history. $32.95
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel: A fascinating portrait of an enduring icon whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing and culture
forever. $32.95
McCullin: Investigative photo-journalist Don McCullin covered humanitarian disasters & wars for the Sunday Times from 1966 to 1983. $35 (Region 2 Import)
Searching for Sugar Man: Academy Award winner about the stranger than fiction
search for singer/songwriter, Sixto Rodriguez. $32.95
Marley: Director Kevin Macdonald joined forces with the Marley family to make the
defininitive film about iconic musician Bob Marley. $24.95
In the wake of economic crisis on a global scale, more & more people
are reconsidering their role in the economy and wondering what they
can do to make it work better for humanity and the planet. In this
innovative book, J. K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron & Stephen
Healy contribute complex understandings of economics in practical
terms: what can we do right now, in our own communities, to make a
difference? Full of exercises, thinking tools, and inspiring examples from around the world,
Take Back the Economy shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own
lives to create ethical economies. ($24.99, PB)
Pink Sari Revolution: A Tale of Women and Power
in the Badlands of India by Amana Fontanella-Khan
Sampat Pal was married at 12, essentially illiterate. Today she leads
a vigilante group fighting for women's rights: the Pink Gang. When
Sheelu was arrested for stealing from a powerful politician in the notoriously crooked region of Uttar Pradesh, she was sure that she would
be forced to accept a prison sentence, not least because she had alleged
that she had been assaulted by a man in the politician's household.
But then Sampat Pal heard word of the charges, and the pink-sariwearing, pink-baton-wielding, 20,000-strong 'Pink Gang' decided to
shake things up. Narrating the story of Sampat Pal and the Pink Gang's fight for Sheelu, as
well as for others facing injustice & oppression, journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan delivers
a riveting portrait of women grabbing fate with their own hands—and winning back their
lives. ($29.95, PB)
The Poverty of Capitalism: Economic Meltdown and
the Struggle for What Comes Next by John Hilary
B o w l e r s
& b lo o d s h e d
the 1930s were to die for
Capitalist growth is widely heralded as the only answer to the crisis still
sweeping the global economy. Yet the era of corporate globalisation
has been defined by unprecedented levels of inequality and environmental degradation. A return to capitalist growth threatens to exacerbate these problems, not solve them. John Hilary reveals the true
face of transnational capital in its insatiable drive for expansion and
accumulation. He exposes the myth of ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR), and highlights key areas of conflict over natural resources,
labour rights and food sovereignty. He also describes the growing popular resistance to
corporate power, as well as the new social movements seeking to develop alternatives to
capitalism itself. ($34.95, PB)
The Last Vote: The Threats to Western Democracy
by Philip Coggan ($45, HB)
In The Last Vote, Philip Coggan shows how democracy today faces
threats that we ignore at our own risk. Amid the turmoil of the financial
crisis, high debt levels, and an ever-growing gap between the richest
and the rest, it is easy to forget that the ultimate victim could be our
democracy itself. Tracing democracy's history and development, from
the classical world through the revolution of the Enlightenment and
on to its astounding success in the 19th and 20th centuries, Coggan
revisits the assumptions on which it is founded. What exactly is democracy? Why should we value it? What are its flaws? And could we do any better? The
Last Vote is an illuminating defence of a system, which, in Churchill's words, is the worst
possible form of government, except for all the others that have been tried.
The Endtimes of Human Rights by Peter Hopgood
'We are living through the end times of the civilising mission. The ineffectual International Criminal Court and its disastrous first prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, along with the failure in Syria of the Responsibility to Protect are the latest pieces of evidence not of transient
misfortunes but of fatal structural defects in international humanism.
Whether it is the increase in deadly attacks on aid workers, the torture and 'disappearing' of al-Qaeda suspects by American officials, the
flouting of international law by states such as Sri Lanka & Sudan, or
the shambles of the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh, the prospect of one world under secular human rights law is receding. What
seemed like a dawn is in fact a sunset. The foundations of universal liberal norms and global
governance are crumbling.' In Endtimes of Human Rights, Peter Hopgood makes a plea for a
new understanding of where hope lies for human rights, a plea that mourns the promise but
rejects the reality of universalism in favour of a less predictable encounter with the diverse
realities of today's multipolar world. ($48.95, HB)
Chinese Whispers: Why Everything You’ve Heard
About China Is Wrong by Ben Chu ($33, PB)
We have been getting China and the Chinese wrong for centuries.
From the Enlightenment philosophers, enraptured by what they imagined to be a kingdom of reason, to the Victorians who derided the
'flowery empire', outsiders have long projected their own dreams and
nightmares onto this vast country. With China's economic resurgence
today, many have fallen once more under the spell of this glittering
new global hegemon, while others foretell terrible danger in China's
return to the centre of the world stage. By examining the central
myths, or 'whispers', that have come to dominate our view of China, Ben Chu forces us to
question everything we thought we knew about the world's most populous nation.
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent 1930s, the Rowland Sinclair Mysteries
dive into the life of ‘Rowly’ — a charming gadabout and artistic black sheep
who plays amateur detective, stumbling across murder and mayhem from the
pleasure clubs of Sydney Society to darkest wartime Europe.
Penned by Award-Winning author Sulari Gentill.
akes us think of
Miss Marple or Inspector Poirot...”
ABC RAdio NAtioNAl – the Book Show
fi RSt 4 Bo o kS AlSo AvAi lAB le
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Download a M/ROWLAND
New in the BFI film classics series, $24.95
Cat People by Kim Newman
Pan's Labyrinth by Mar Diestro-Dopido
Nosferatu (1922) by Kevin Jackson
The Shining by Roger Luckhurst
Vampyr by David Rudkin
Das Cabinet Des Dr Caligari
by David Robinson
Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), this gripping thriller sees mythical motorcycle racer,
Luke (Ryan Gosling), desperately trying to connect with
a former lover, Romina (Eva Mendes), who secretly gave
birth to the stunt rider's son. In an attempt to provide for
his new family, Luke quits the carnival life and commits a
series of bank robberies aided by his superior riding ability.
The stakes rise as Luke is put on a collision course with
an ambitious police officer, Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper),
looking to quickly move up the ranks in a police department
riddled with corruption. Derek Cianfrance provides an audio commentary. ($39.95)
Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for
Transforming Communities by Jenny Cameron et al
Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma
Helen O’Neill
A The power, passions and
life of passions
The power,
of the
modern Australia.
who shaped
modern Australia.
Drawing on hundreds of eye-witness accounts and personal stories, this
sweeping book examines the seven months (in Europe) and four months
(in Asia) that followed the surrender of the Axis powers, from the fate
of Holocaust survivors liberated from the concentration camps, and the
formation of the state of Israel, to the incipient civil war in China, and
the allied occupation of Japan. It was a time when terrible revenge was
taken on collaborators and their former masters; of ubiquitous black
markets, war crime tribunals; and the servicing of millions of occupation troops, former foes
in some places, liberators in others. It was also a new beginning, of democratic restorations in
Japan and West Germany, of social democracy in Britain and of a new world order under the
United Nations. If construction follows destruction, Year Zero describes that extraordinary
moment in between, when people faced the wreckage—an old world had been destroyed; a
new one was yet to be built. ($30, PB)
The First Bohemians: Life and Art in London's Golden
Age by Vic Gatrell ($49.99, HB)
In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden, something extraordinary evolved in
the eighteenth century. It was the world's first creative 'Bohemia'. The
nation's most significant artists, actors, poets, novelists, and dramatists
lived here. From Soho & Leicester Square across Covent Garden's Piazza to Drury Lane, and down from Long Acre to the Strand, they rubbed
shoulders with rakes, prostitutes, market people, craftsmen, and shopkeepers. It was an often brutal world full of criminality, poverty and feuds, but also of high
spirits, and an intimacy that was as culturally creative as any other in history. Vic Gatrell's
new book recreates this time & place by drawing on a vast range of sources, showing the
deepening fascination with 'real life' that resulted in the work of artists like Hogarth, Blake,
and Rowlandson, or in great literary works like The Beggar's Opera & Moll Flanders.
Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia ($49.99, PB)
Renowned for its sheer size, over 2.3 metres square, and stunning colours, Fra Mauro's Map
of the World was made at a time of transition between the medieval world view and new knowledge uncovered by the great
voyages of discovery. Brilliantly painted and illuminated on
sheets of oxhide, the sphere of the Earth is surrounded by the
sphere of the Ocean in the ancient way. Yet Fra Mauro included
the latest information on exploration by Portuguese and Arab
navigators. Commissioned by King Afonso V of Portugal, it is
the last of the great medieval world maps to inspire navigators
in the Age of Discovery to explore beyond the Indian Ocean.
By Wally$29.99
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in tragedy.
the face
of tragedy.
The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester
By SimonTHE
Simon Winchester
The bestselling author
of how
tells the
America was united
story of how
into a single
was nation.
into a single nation.
How did America become one single nation? What unified a growing
number of disparate states into the modern country we recognise today?
Simon Winchester addresses these questions, examining the extraordinary achievements that helped forge and unify both the citizens and the
geography of America. He follows in the footsteps of America's most
essential explorers, thinkers and innovators, including Lewis and Clark
and their Corps of Discovery Expedition to the Pacific Coast, the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph, and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. Some of these men will
be familiar, some forgotten, some hardly known—yet they all played
a pivotal role in creating today's United States. Throughout the book, Winchester ponders
whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. ($30, PB)
Also New
Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture
and Vice Versa by Marshall Sahlins, $33.95
Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power by Philip Dwyer
By Joanna
By Joanna Trollope
The long-awaited
reworking of
The long-awaited
Austen’s SENSE
Jane Austen’s
Trollope will
be oneTrollope
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good story
This second volume of Philip Dwyer's biography of Napoleon sheds
further fresh light on one of the great figures of modern history. After
a meteoric rise, a military-political coup in 1799 established Napoleon
Bonaparte in government, aged just thirty. Dwyer examines the man
in power, from his brooding obsessions and capacity for violence, to
his ability to inspire others and realise his visionary ideas. One of the
first truly modern politicians, Napoleon skilfully fashioned the image
of himself that laid the foundation of the legend that endures to this day;
Philip Dwyer's ambitious, definitive work separates myth from history
to offer us anew one of history's most charismatic and able leaders. ($40, HB)
The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary Jonathan Bass ($45, HB)
The Blood Telegram is an unprecedented chronicle of a pivotal but
little-known chapter of the Cold War. Gary Bass gives the first full
account of the involvement of Richard Nixon & Henry Kissinger
in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh that led to war between India
& Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia & left in their wake a host of
major strategic consequences for the world today. He shows how
Nixon and Kissinger supported Pakistan's military dictatorship as
it brutally quashed the results of a historic free election. Unswayed by detailed warnings
of genocide from American diplomats witnessing the bloodshed, they stood behind Pakistan's military rulers—driven not just by Cold War realpolitik but by a bitter personal
dislike of India and its leader Indira Gandhi. Nixon and Kissinger silenced American
officials who dared to speak up, secretly encouraged China to mass troops on the Indian
border, and illegally supplied weapons to the Pakistani military, an overlooked scandal
that presages Watergate. Drawing on previously unheard White House tapes, recently
declassified documents, and extensive interviews with White House staffers and Indian
military leaders, The Blood Telegram tells this thrilling, shadowy story in full.
Now in B Format or Paperback
On Politics: A History of Political Thought from Herodotus
to the Present by Alan Ryan, $27
Leningrad Symphony: Siege and Sympathy
by Brian Moynihan, $34.99
Shady Characters by Keith Houston ($35, HB)
Every character we write or type is a link to the past, and in today's
writing—be it printed, electronic or scrawled handwriting—their
history stares right back at us. The full stop, for instance, is a plainspeaking herald of the creative freedom once enjoyed at the library
of Alexandria, while its younger siblings the asterisk and dagger
are ominous reminders of the literary crusades prosecuted by early
Christians. Keith Houston charts the lives of some of the most
intriguing examples, from the pilcrow to the ampersand and reveals
the bust and boom endured by punctuation with each new technological innovation.
Egyptomania: Our Three Thousand Year Obsession with the Land of the Pharaohs by Bob Brier
The world has always been fascinated with ancient Egypt. When
the Romans conquered Egypt, it was really Egypt that conquered
the Romans. Cleopatra captivated both Caesar and Marc Antony
and soon Roman ladies were worshipping Isis and wearing vials of
Nile water around their necks. For forty years, Bob Brier, one of
the world's foremost Egyptologists, has been amassing one of the
largest collections of Egyptian memorabilia and seeking to understand the pull of Ancient Egypt on our world today. In this book
he explores our 3,000-year-old fixation with recovering Egyptian culture & its meaning,
with 24 pages of colour photos from the author's collection (from Napoleon's 20 volume
Egypt encyclopedia to Howard Carter's letters to an actual mummy). ($39.95, HB)
Churchill's Bomb: A Hidden History of Science,
War and Politics by Graham Farmelo ($45, HB)
Winston Churchill made brave efforts to understand the exciting
& sinister new world opened up by quantum physics in the 1920s
& 30s, and wrote repeatedly about the coming of unimaginably
dangerous new explosives. Britain then was the world leader in
nuclear research. But when the awful possibility of actually building an atomic bomb raised its head, Churchill made crucial errors
that ensured Britain's exclusion from the American-led project to
build the bomb. He neglected an offer by Roosevelt to give Britain
equal footing on the project and marginalised the real elite of British science, relying
instead on the counsel of Frederick Lindemann, a wayward Oxford physicist hungry
for power & resentful of scientists more brilliant than he was. As a result, Britain lost
its leadership of this cutting-edge science & was denied access to the latest research.
Graham Farmelo's new book shows a new & less flattering side to the great war leader.
The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III
by Michael Jones & Philippa Langley ($39.99, HB)
Hess, Hitler and Churchill: The Real Turning Point of the Second
World War—A Secret History by Peter Padfield
Rudolf Hess' peace mission to Britain in May 1941 remains one of the
Second World War's greatest mysteries. As this book reveals, far from
being a disillusioned renegade, he had Hitler's backing—recently discovered Soviet archives confirm it. Award-winning historian Peter Padfield
unearths evidence revealing that Hess carried a draft peace treaty committing Hitler to the evacuation of occupied European countries. Made
public, this would have destroyed Churchill's campaign to bring the US
into the war. The treaty remains suppressed, final proof of a continuing
official cover-up on Hess' mission. Pacey and authoritative, the book
touches on Lord (Victor) Rothschild and the Cambridge spy ring, British foreknowledge of Operation Barbarossa and the Final Solution, and MI6's use of Hess to prevent
the bombing of London. Padfield's book is a real eye-opener. ($49.99, HB)
On 22 August 1485, Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the
last king of England to die in battle. Richard's body was displayed
in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then
hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at
the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was
lost—its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar—and
Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda, culminating in Shakespeare's portrayal of a deformed &
murderous villain, written over 100 years after Richard's death. Now, in an incredible
find, Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find
Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for
the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's 15th century life & death.
The book offers a complete re-evaluation of Richard, one that discards the distortions of
later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.
Science & Nature
An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
by Chris Hadfield ($33, PB)
Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut
and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has
broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of
a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded
while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. Through
eye-opening stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains
how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement, and happiness. His own
extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't
visualise success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You
might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform
basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield, but his insights will teach you how to
think like an astronaut, and will change the way you view life on Earth.
White Beech: The Rainforest Years
by Germaine Greer ($40, HB)
In December 2001, Germaine Greer found herself confronted by
an irresistible challenge in the shape of 60 hectares of dairy farm,
one of many in SE QLD that, after a century of logging, clearing and downright devastation, had been abandoned to their fate.
Beyond the acres of exotic pasture grass, soft weed & the impenetrable curtains of tangled Lantana canes there were Macadamias
dangling their strings of unripe nuts, and Black Beans with red &
yellow pea flowers growing on their branches—and the few remaining White Beeches: stupendous trees up to 40 metres in height, logged out within
40 years of the arrival of the first white settlers. To have turned down even a faint
chance of bringing them back to their old haunts would have been to succumb to despair, and when the first replanting shot up to make a forest, and rare caterpillars turned
up to feed on the leaves of the new young trees, Greer knew beyond doubt that at least
here biodepletion could be reversed.
Serving the Reich: The Struggle For the Soul of
Physics Under Hitler by Philip Ball ($49.95, HB)
While some scientists in Nazi Germany tried to create an Aryan
physics that excluded any ‘Jewish ideas', many others made compromises and concessions as they continued to work under the
Nazi regime. Among them were three world-renowned physicists:
Max Planck, pioneer of quantum theory, who regarded it as his
moral duty to carry on under the regime; Peter Debye, a Dutch
physicist, who rose to run the Reich's most important research institute before leaving for the US in 1940; and Werner Heisenberg,
who discovered the Uncertainty Principle and became the leading figure in Germany's
race for the atomic bomb. Mixing history, science and biography, Philip Ball has written a gripping exploration of moral choices under a totalitarian regime.
The Best Australian Science Writing 2013
(eds) Jane McCredie, Natasha Mitchell ($30, PB)
Could the dodo make a comeback? What does science tell us about
the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey? Is giving up meat really the greenest option? Can you use tweets to spot a psychopath? Do birds
make art? What do the Cold War and climate science have in common? And can a psychologist interpret your farts? The Best Australian Science Writing 2013 brings together great writing about
life and the universe, and includes contributions from poets and
psychologists, comedians and climate commentators, neuroscientists and novelists, star-gazers and science journalists.
Bosnia's Million Bones: Solving the World's
Greatest Forensic Puzzle by Christian Jennings
'Solving the world's greatest forensic puzzle' was how one leading forensic scientist described the vast operation to exhume from
mass graves and identify the remains of the thousands of victims of
the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia. In 2000, one DNA laboratory run by the International Commission on Missing Persons
(ICMP) in Sarajevo set about cracking the code to this puzzle. Thirteen years later, the ICMP are world leaders in using DNA-assisted
technology to help identify the thousands of worldwide victims of
wars, mass human-rights abuses, and natural disasters. Captivating and cutting edge,
this is a story of modern forensics and the quest for truth. ($49.95, HB)
From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of
Our Solar System by J. Chambers & J. Mitton
From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who would like to
know more about how the solar system came to be. It takes the
reader to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the
latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extra solar planets and planetary systems are
transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate. ($51.95, HB)
Also new
Game of Knowns by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, $32.99
The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
by Simon Singh, $29.99
Philosophy & Religion
Death Penalty, V. I by by Jacques Derrida ($58.95, HB)
The Other Hundred
The Forbes 100, the Fortune 500,
Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index... the list
of rich lists is endless. Here instead are
the stories of The Other Hundred - those
people who aren’t among the world’s rich,
but whose lives deserve to be celebrated.
ISBN 9781780743752
Oneworld Publications
Out of Time
Out of Time looks at the perils and
potential pleasures of growing old. It is a
brave and powerful refusal to disappear, a
rallying cry for the persistence of life after
sixty, and a convincing rebuttal of the war
of the generations and the end of babyboomer bashing.
ISBN 9781781681398
You Can Beat Your Brain
David McRaney once again delves into the
assorted ways we mislead ourselves, but more
than that, he helps us to overcome our quirks
and think more effectively. You Can Beat Your
Brain is a pocket-sized primer informed by the
latest studies in psychology and packed with
wry humour and astonishing facts.
ISBN 9781780743745
Oneworld Publications
William Shakespeare & Others
Could Shakespeare really have written
these plays? Why were they excluded from
the First Folio of his collected works? This
collection brings together for the first time
in a hundred years the fascinatingly varied
body of plays that became known as The
Shakespeare Apocrypha.
ISBN 9781137271440
Palgrave Macmillan
Who is Who?
The Philosophy of Doctor Who
Doctor Who is 50 years’ old in 2013. Through
its long life on television and beyond it has
inspired much debate due to the richness
and complexity of the metaphysical and
moral issues that it poses. This is the first indepth philosophical investigation of Doctor
Who in popular culture.
ISBN 9781780765532
I.B.Tauris Publishers
The View from the Train
In his sequence of films, Patrick Keiller
retraces the hidden story of the places
where we live, the cities and landscapes
of our everyday lives. This book features
essays by the iconic British filmmaker on
the relationship between film, cities and
ISBN 9781781681404
Now in B format & Paperback
Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein, $19.99
Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise
and the Birth of the Secular Age
by Steven Nadler, $34.95
In this newest instalment in Chicago’s series of Jacques Derrida’s seminars, the renowned philosopher attempts one of his most ambitious
goals: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty.
While much has been written against the death penalty, Derrida contends that Western philosophy is massively, if not always obviously,
complicit with a logic in which a sovereign state has the right to take
a life. Haunted by this notion, he turns to the key places where such
logic has been established—and to the place it has been most effectively challenged: literature. Derrida examines everything from the
Bible to Plato to Camus to Jean Genet, with special attention to Kant & post–World War
II juridical texts, to draw the landscape of death penalty discourses. Above all, he argues
that the death penalty & its attendant technologies are products of a desire to put an end
to one of the most fundamental qualities of our finite existence: the radical uncertainty of
when we will die.
Also New
Who is Who? The Philosophy of Doctor Who
by Kevin S. Decker, $34.95
Futurama and Philosophy
(eds) Courtland Lewis & Shaun P. Young, $29.99
Frankenstein and Philosophy (ed) Nicolas Michaud, $29.99
lllness: The Cry of the Flesh by Havi Carel ($24.95, PB)
What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a
way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? And can there
be well-being within illness? In this remarkable and thought-provoking book, Havi Carel explores these questions by weaving together the
personal story of her own serious illness, with insights and reflections
drawn from her work as a philosopher.
Truth: Philosophy in Transit by John C. Caputo
In today's freewheeling, pluralistic, moving world, where we can travel anywhere and get information at any time, there are no certainties.
Without fixed ideas, can we still love the truth? In this first in a new
series of digestible, commute-length books of original thought, John
D. Caputo explores different notions of truth, and how we can define
it today. Is truth, as for St Augustine, the same as God? Does it lie in
the Reason of Descartes and Kant? Is it Derrida's idea of an event,
still being made? Or, according to postmodern prophet Nietzsche, a
mere ensemble of fictions and metaphors? ($19.99, PB)
Lectures on the History of Moral and Political
Philosophy by G. A. Cohen ($55.95, HB)
Throughout his career G. A. Cohen regularly lectured on a wide range
of moral and political philosophers of the past. This volume collects
these previously unpublished lectures. Starting with a chapter centred
on Plato, but also discussing the pre-Socratics as well as Aristotle,
the book moves to social contract theory as discussed by Hobbes,
Locke and Hume, and then continues with chapters on Kant, Hegel
and Nietzsche. The book also contains some previously published but
uncollected papers on Hobbes, Kant and Marx, among other figures,
and concludes with a memoir of Cohen written by the volume editor,
Jonathan Wolff, who was a student of Cohen's.
Finding Ourselves at the Movies: Philosophy for a
New Generation by Paul W. Kahn ($54.95, HB)
Academic philosophy may have lost its audience, but the traditional
subjects of philosophy—love, death, justice, knowledge and faith—
remain as compelling as ever. To reach a new generation, Paul W.
Kahn argues, philosophy must be brought to bear on contemporary
discourse surrounding these primal concerns, and he shows how this
can be achieved through a turn to popular film. First, he uses film
to explore the nature of action and interpretation, and narrative, not
abstraction, emerges as the critical concept for understanding both. Second, he explores
the narratives of politics, family, and faith as they appear in popular films. Engaging with
genres as diverse as romantic comedies, slasher films, and pornography, Kahn gains access
to the social imaginary, through which we create and maintain a meaningful world.
The Quotable Kierkegaard by Gordon Marino
The father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) was a
philosopher who could write like an angel. With only a sentence or
two, he could plumb the depths of the human spirit. In this collection
of some 800 quotations, the reader will find dazzling bon mots next to
words of life-changing power. Organised by topic, the volume covers
notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence,
irony and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness and
the comic. Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern
thinkers. ($46.95, HB)
Also now in paperback
Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism
by Judith Butler, $33.95
Call of Character: Living a Life Worth Living
by Mari Ruti ($39.95, HB)
Should we feel inadequate for failing to be healthy, balanced and welladjusted? Is such an existential equilibrium realistic or even desirable?
Condemning our cultural obsession with cheerfulness and 'positive
thinking,' Mari Ruti calls for a resurrection of character that honours
our more eccentric frequencies, arguing that sometimes the most tormented and anxiety-ridden life can also be the most rewarding. Ruti shows what counts is not
our ability to evade existential uncertainty but to meet adversity in such a way that we do not
become irrevocably broken. We are in danger of losing the capacity to cope with complexity, ambiguity, melancholia, disorientation and disappointment, leaving us feeling less 'real,'
less connected, and unable to metabolise a full range of emotions. Heeding the call of our
character may mean acknowledging the marginalised, chaotic aspects of our being, for they
carry a great deal of creative energy.
Overcoming Depression and Low Mood: A Five
Areas Approach, 4th Ed by Chris Williams
This book uses the proven and trusted 5 areas model of Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help people assess & manage depression & low mood to change how they feel. It comprises a series of
chapters for therapists to work through with their patients, addressing
issues ranging from low mood through to severe depressive episodes.
The book’s patient-friendly approach features illustrations, questions
and exercises to enhance the therapeutic experience. This 4th edition
includes new material on care-givers, medication, staying well, planning for the future, and low-intensity and very low-intensity self help. ($54.95, PB)
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me
by Ellen Forney ($29.99, PB)
Shortly before her 30th birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar
disorder. Suffering from (but enjoying) extreme mania, and terrified
that medication would cause her to lose her creative edge, she began
a long struggle over many years to find mental stability while retaining her creativity. Searching to make sense of the popular idea of the
'crazy artist', she finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including Vincent
van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron and Sylvia Plath. She
also researches the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder, including the strengths and limitations of various treatments and medications, and what studies tell us about the conundrum of
attempting to cure an otherwise brilliant mind.
his, the first history
written of the New
South Wales coast, traces
our relationship with this
stretch of land and sea
starting millennia ago when
Aboriginal people feasted on
shellfish and perfected the
art of building bark canoes,
to our present obsession
with the beach as a place to
live or holiday.
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence
by Daniel Goleman ($30, PB)
In Focus, Daniel Goleman delves into the science of attention in all
its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed
and under-rated mental asset that matters enormously for how we
navigate life. Goleman boils down attention research into three parts:
inner, other, and outer focus. He shows why high-achievers need all
three kinds of focus, as demonstrated by rich case studies from fields
as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts and business.
Those who excel rely on what Goleman calls 'Smart Practices' such
as mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and recovery, positive emotions and connections, and mental 'prosthetics' that help them improve habits, add new skills, and sustain
The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of
Dementia and Aging by Margaret Lock ($46.95, HB)
The Alzheimer Conundrum exposes the predicaments embedded in
current efforts to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease through early
detection of pre-symptomatic biological changes in healthy individuals. Based on a careful study of the history of Alzheimer's disease, and
extensive in-depth interviews with clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, geneticists and others, Margaret Lock highlights the limitations
and the dissent implicated in this approach. She stresses that one major difficulty is the well-documented absence of behavioural signs of
Alzheimer's disease in a significant proportion of elderly individuals, even when Alzheimer
neuropathology is present in their brains. This incongruity makes it difficult to distinguish
between what counts as normal versus pathological and, further, makes it evident that social
and biological processes contribute inseparably to aging. Lock argues that basic research
must continue, but it should be complemented by a realistic public health approach available
everywhere that will be more effective and more humane than one focused almost exclusively on an increasingly frenzied search for a cure.
Conversations with a Pedophile: Inside the Mind of
a Sexual Predator by Dr Amy Hammel-Zabin
How does the mind of a paedophile work? How does a paedophile lay
the groundwork that lures children into his web and succeed in abusing them to satisfy his own sick needs? As a therapist in the prison
where sex offender 'Alan' was incarcerated, Dr Amy Hammel-Zabin
had unparalleled access to the uncensored voice of a paedophile who
sexually abused more than a thousand boys. As both a trained therapist and a victim of childhood sexual abuse herself, Zabin is uniquely
qualified to articulate the development, maintenance and sorrowful
impacts of paedophilia, to better understand & prevent this horrendous crime. ($24.99, PB)
he Best Australian
Science Writing 2013
brings together great
writing about life and
the universe, including
contributions from
poets and psychologists,
comedians and climate
neuroscientists and
novelists, star-gazers and
science journalists.
Now in B format & Paperback
Far From The Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for
Identity by Andrew Solomon, $32.95
American Wife ...Clever Girl
If one reads enough books, for a long enough time, one can't help but
notice a pattern forming, not just with the books one likes, but the books
that are out there. I guess it's a literary zeitgeist of sorts. Two books that
I have just read have clearly reminded me of this 'only connect' aspect of
reading, and both are surprising. Curtis Sittenfeld's
An American Wife is not what it appears to be. The
author clearly states that it is based on the life of the
wife of an American president, and that wife is Laura
Bush. Not the subject for an interesting novel, are
you thinking? You would be wrong; it is a riveting
book. Alice Blackwell, née Lindgren, is the name of
the central character, and in painstaking detail we follow her through childhood, and adolescence, to early
adulthood. As a teenager, Alice caused a car accident,
and her childhood friend, a boy named Andrew, was
killed. This tragedy changed the course of Alice's life, and Andrew's
presence is felt from the beginning to the end of the book. When she
meets Charlie Blackwell (modelled on George Bush), she is a successful
30 year old librarian—single, and about to buy a house on her own. The
novel is extremely detailed up to this point, the reader well versed in
the minutiae of Alice Lindgren's life, and we watch helplessly as she is
drawn inexorably away from one path, and into another with the larger
than life, entitled, Charlie. Not until the last paragraphs of the book do
we see just how Alice has been compromised, which doesn't change
what has gone before, but deepens the whole story.
Tessa Hadley's Clever Girl is also a story about a
girl, a very clever girl, Stella. Growing up in England in the 1970s, Stella is set on a familiar path: she
will do well, and she will go to university. But like
Alice in An American Wife, Stella's course changes— the cause of the change being, of course, a boy.
This boy, Valentine, is so well drawn that his shadow
casts a pall over the whole book. Although he ignobly
runs off early in the piece, he leaves a legacy in the
shape of a baby, and Stella's die is cast. Wonderfully
well written, with very three dimensional characters
and a strong sense of place, Clever Girl is the story of a thwarted life,
but a rich life never-the-less. Stella lurches from one situation to another, and from one set of people to the next, until middle-age when she
finally stops still. Like the aforementioned Alice, Stella loves books, and
both these novels describe the influence literature can have in our lives.
Both books are written in the first person, and both describe the tyranny
of circumstance with great clarity.
And for my catch-up reading of the month ... Apparently I was a few years shy of reading this for
my HSC—and I'm so pleased that I didn't, and that
I read it as an adult. What a luminous book, rich and
fanciful, and entirely thought provoking. Are we just
ants, or does every random act have a meaning, and
are we all part of a meaningful pattern? Set in Peru
in the early 1700s, where a Franciscan monk witnesses the collapse of an Incan rope bridge, killing
five seemingly unrelated people. Brother Juniper, the
monk, then sets out to write about the victims of the
bridge's collapse, and to find a higher reason behind this random accident. Extraordinarily imaginative and detailed, it's incredible to think
this book was written when Wilder was only 30, and a school French
teacher. Unsurprisingly, it was highly acclaimed at the time, and he won
a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1928. Louise Pfanner
Now B Format
By The Book: A Reader's Guide to Life
by Ramona Koval, $22.99
Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton ($32.99, PB)
Since 2006, Twitter has grown from 100 obsessive users to more
than 100 million today. But how did such a radical transformation happen in just five years, and what does it mean for business,
politics and the internet? With unprecedented access to some of the
major players in this unique drama, New York Times business and
technology columnist Nick Bilton chronicles the key figures who
helped build the company, and who ultimately struggled to manage the influence and
power they had been handed. A business story like no other, or, in 140 characters,
'How a company built on betrayal and battles for power became a multibillion dollar
business and accidentally changed the world'.
Criticism &
Once Upon A Time In Oz: Griffith REVIEW 42
(ed) Julianne Schulz ($27.99, PB)
Fairy tales speak to the heart. They are the foundation stories that embody darkness and light, good and evil, and use magic to convey essential truths. Griffith REVIEW 42 holds up an enchanted mirror to explore
the role of fairy and folk tales across cultures in Australia, and create
new ones. How have the European tales transported in the nineteenth
century affected Australian literature? What role do the legends of the
Aboriginal Dreamtime, and the stories of Asia, South America, the Pacific and Africa,
play in the Australian imagination? Is it wise to censor traditional stories for the good of
children? How do the stories change, and why? Are fairy tales really only for children?
This collection presents new stories by renowned writers, and examines through essay and
memoir some of the mysteries of storytelling.
Dreaming Too Loud: Reflections of a Race Apart
by Geoffrey Robertson ($34.95, PB)
Christopher Hitchens described Geoffrey Robertson as ‘the greatest
living Australian', and the satirical magazine Private Eye calls him ‘an
Australian who has had a vowel transplant'. This collection of his essays covers such topics as the schoolteacher who stopped Ned Kelly's
planned terrorist atrocity at Glenrowan, and the squadron leader who
led ‘the few'—the airmen who held the Japanese at bay after the fall of
Singapore. He gives insights into Australian education, tells the story of
wrongly jailed Aboriginal mother Nancy Young, and relates encounters
with Vaclav Havel, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Kirby, John Mortimer & Julian Assange.
Along with the transcript of a previously banned ‘hypothetical', are reflections on worldwide problems such as torture, terrorism & the Catholic church, and much else besides.
Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Aging
by Lynne Segal ($39.95, HB)
In the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir, Diana Athill and writers, poets
and thinkers who have all written about the fears, liberation and experience of ageing, Lynne Segal looks at the perils and potential pleasures
of growing old. Her book is a brave and powerful refusal to disappear,
a rallying cry for the persistence of life after sixty, and a convincing
rebuttal of the war of the generations and the end of baby-boomer bashing. Combining memoir, analysis and politics, Segal explores the problems of dealing with loss and how to find victory in survival. She also
raises the possibilities of continued desire and identity where often the aged are become
forgotten and increasingly invisible.
Stuff I've Been Reading by Nick Hornby ($27.99, PB)
Whether plunging into a biography of Dickens whilst his children are
destroying something in the room next door, or devouring a whole series of children's books whilst on holiday, Nick Hornby is an intelligent, committed but sceptical reader. Admiring Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, he points out a surprising anachronism. Reading Cormac
McCarthy's The Road, he wonders why 'unflinching' is a term of praise
among critics. And who but Nick Hornby could successfully juxtapose
a discussion of a book on Bob Dylan's backing group, The Band, with
one on the Stasi?
Floating City by Sudhir Venkatesh ($45, HB)
In Gang Leader for a Day, an electrifying insider's study of Chicago
crack gangs, sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh learned the critical lesson of
urban poverty—your neighbourhood is your fate. Venkatesh has since
spent a decade immersed in New York's illicit underbelly, studying the
call girls, drug dealers, off-the-books immigrants & strivers that make
up this booming underground economy. In Floating City, he explores
New York from high to low, tracing the invisible threads that bind a
handful of urban hustlers—from a Harvard-educated uptown socialite
running a high-end escort service to a Puerto Rican teenager trying
to make the transition from prostitute to call girl with disastrous consequences. As these
characters move from trust-funder cocktail parties to midtown strip clubs to downtown art
parties, Venkatesh finds something truly unexpected: a fluid city where neighbourhoods
mean nothing and networks mean everything, where the distinctions between race and
class simply dissolve—a dynamic that can be found in global cities everywhere.
Market in Babies: Stories of Australian Adoption
Marian Quartly, Shurlee Swain & Denise Cuthbert
This book tells the history of adoption in Australia from its beginnings
in the 19th century to its decline at the beginning of the 21st. In the
early years supply outstripped demand; needy children were hard to
place. In mid-20th century demand & supply grew together, with adoption presented as the perfect solution to two social problems: infertility & illegitimacy. Supply declined in the 1970s & demand turned to
new global markets. Now these markets are closing, but technology
provides new opportunities & Australians are buying babies in the surrogacy markets of India & the US. As the rate of adoptions in Australia falls to a historic
low, and parliaments across the country are apologising to parents and children for the pain
caused by past practices, this book identifies an historical continuum between the past and
the present and challenges the view that the best interests of the child can ever be protected
in an environment where the market for children is allowed to flourish. ($34.95, PB)
Cultural Studies
Writing on the Wall: Social Media—The First
2,000 Years by Tom Standage ($30, PB)
Today we are endlessly connected: constantly tweeting, texting or
e-mailing. This may seem unprecedented, yet it is not. Throughout history, information has been spread through social networks,
with far-reaching social and political effects. Writing on the Wall
reveals how an elaborate network of letter exchanges forewarned
of power shifts in Cicero's Rome, while the torrent of tracts circulating in 16th century Germany triggered the Reformation. Tom Standage traces the
story of the rise, fall and rebirth of social media over the past 2,000 years, offering an
illuminating perspective on the history of media, and revealing that social networks do
not merely connect us today they also link us to the past.
The Novel: An Alternative History, 1600–1800
by Steven Moore ($49.99, HB)
In the first volume of his history of the novel, Steven Moore unearthed and told the stories of remarkable works of fiction that have
been neglected in conventional histories. His new book picks up
the story in 1600 when the novel, an established literary genre was
to experience a remarkable growth spurt for the next two centuries
as authors experimented with different approaches, transforming
the novel from a rather disreputable form of entertainment into the
respectable genre it became in the 19th century. For most readers, their familiarity with
pre-1800 European fiction is limited to Don Quixote, Candide, The Sorrows of Young
Werther, The Pilgrim's Progress or Gulliver's Travels. Regarding Oriental fiction, few
readers are aware of perhaps the greatest novel of that period (The Dream of Red Mansions), much less any of the dozens of other fascinating works published in the 17th and
18th centuries. Moore's ability to read deeply and bring forgotten novels to the surface
has been praised by critics and readers alike.
Time, History, and Literature: Selected Essays of
Erich Auerbach ($61, HB)
Erich Auerbach (1892–1957), best known for his classic literary
study Mimesis, is celebrated today as a founder of comparative
literature, a forerunner of secular criticism, and a prophet of global
literary studies. This volume presents a wide selection of Auerbach's essays, many of which are little known outside the Germanspeaking world. Of the twenty essays culled from the full length of
his career for this volume, twelve have never appeared in English
before, and one is being published for the first time. Foregrounded in this new collection
are Auerbach's complex relationship to the Judaeo-Christian tradition, his philosophy of
time and history, and his theory of human ethics and responsible action. Auerbach effectively charts out the difficult discovery, in the wake of Christianity, of the sensuous,
the earthly, and the human and social worlds. A number of the essays reflect Auerbach's
responses to an increasingly hostile National Socialist environment.
Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative
Revolution: From the Sopranos and the Wire to
Mad Men and Breaking Bad by Brett Martin
Just as the Big Novel had in the 1960s & the subversive films of
New Hollywood had in 1970s, at the beginning of the 21st century
TV shows became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and
betrayals of the American Dream. Shows such as The Wire, The
Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood & The Shield tackled issues of
life and death, love & sexuality, addiction, race, violence, & existential boredom. Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis
and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise & inner workings of a genre that
represents not only a new golden age for TV but also a cultural watershed. ($39, HB)
Metamorphoses of the City: On the Western
Dynamic by Pierre Manent ($59.95, HB)
This book is a sweeping interpretation of Europe's ambition since
ancient times to generate ever better forms of collective self-government, and a reflection on what it means to be modern. Manent's
genealogy of the nation-state begins with the Greek city-state, the
'polis'. With its creation, humans ceased to organise themselves
solely by family and kinship systems and instead began to live
politically. Eventually, as the 'polis' exhausted its possibilities in
warfare and civil strife, cities evolved into empires, epitomised by
Rome, and empires in turn gave way to the universal Catholic Church and finally the
nation-state. Manent charts an intellectual history of these political forms, allowing us
to see that the dynamic of competition among them is a central force in the evolution
of Western civilisation. The European nation-state, Manent says, is now nearing the
end of its line. What new metamorphosis of the city will supplant it remains to be seen.
2 H R
For our last column for this year, a quartet of titles:
Fifty Years of Perceval Drawings by Ken McGregor. Bay Books, Sydney. 1989.
First Edition. Hardcover. 256pp., Colour illustrations. Very Good Condition in
Very Good Dustjacket. $90.00. This book reproduces 230 of artist John Perceval's (1923–2000) 'best drawings, selected to span his entire career'. They
cover his early years in hospital, his life as a young exuberant artist, family life,
his tragedies and illnesses and his artistic recovery.
Eugene von Guerard's Australian Landscapes compiled by Marjorie Tipping.
Lansdowne Press, Melbourne. 1975. First Edition. Hardcover with original slipcase. 118pp., 24 colour lithographs, notes on each, bibliography. Book title is
lettered in gilt on the spine with a black and white portrait on the front board.
Limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies of which this is No. 570. Very
light foxing and wear on book edges otherwise Very Good Condition in slightly
worn slipcase. $190.00. Austrian born artist Eugene von Guerard (1811–1901)
arrived in Australia in 1852 to take up gold prospecting in Victoria. Having no
success on the goldfields, he instead produced a popular series of artistic studies
of goldfields life and within a decade was the foremost painter in the colonies.
Active between 1852 to 1882, Guerard became one of Australia's most important landscape artists. This book reproduces a series of 24 tinted lithographs
originally published in 1867: 'illustrative of the most striking and picturesque
features of the landscape scenery of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia
& Tasmania, drawn from nature and lithographed by the artist'.
And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave. Black Spring Press Ltd, London.
1989. First Edition. Hardcover. 254pp. Moderate spotting to top edge otherwise
Very Good Condition in a slightly worn Dustjacket. $75.00. Australian musician Nick Cave's (b.1957) 1980s career trajectory peaked with the publication
of this, his first novel. Having already achieved recognition with the bands The
Birthday Party (1973–1983) and The Bad Seeds (1984–), he cut his acting teeth
in Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire (1987) with The Bad Seeds performing a concert in Berlin. A volume of lyrics King Ink also appeared the following year. Film soundtrack contributions and musical collaborations with Shane
McGowan (of the Pogues), P.J. Harvey, Marianne Faithfull and Kylie Minogue
lay ahead.
Pan's Daughter: The Strange World of Rosaleen Norton by Nevill Drury. Collins Australia, Sydney. 1988. First Edition. Hardcover. 154pp. Black and white
illustrations, endnotes, bibliography, index. Remainder mark on bottom edge. A
Very Good copy with a lightly worn Dustjacket. $35.00. This is a lively biography of New Zealand born trance artist and pagan worshipper Rosaleen Norton
(1917–1979)—known to friends as 'Roie' and later to the public at large as the
'Witch of King's Cross'. Her family emigrated to Australia in 1925. Leaving art
college in 1928 she worked variously as a kitchen-maid, nightclub waitress,
postal messenger, occasional artist's model for Norman Lindsay and cadet journalist on Smith's Weekly. Her first published fantasy illustrations appeared in
1941. By 1949 she had met her lover, the poet Gavin Greenlees (1930–1983).
Norton first attracted controversy when she was charged with obscenity over
a series of pagan, sexually explicit drawings exhibited at the University of
Melbourne, in August 1949. Police raided the exhibition, which included such
works as Lucifer and Witches' Sabbath. The charges were dismissed after she
provided a detailed explanation of her occult beliefs.
Her art work was inspired by images and beings she claimed to have seen in
psychic trance encounters invoked by both self-hypnosis and later, LSD. A
compilation of her mystical artwork, with poems by Greenlees, was published
as The Art of Rosaleen Norton (1952) by publisher Walter Glover. Containing
explicit images such as Fohat and The Adversary, this work was even more
controversial than her Melbourne exhibition. The publisher was charged with
producing an obscene publication and the book could only be distributed in
Australia with some of the more sexually explicit images blacked out. In the
United States copies were burned by customs officials. The publisher was sent
bankrupt, so Norton proceeded to sell her occult artwork directly to the public.
She also openly established a Pagan Coven dedicated to the 'Great God Pan' at
her lodgings in Kings Cross. More trouble from the authorities was to follow.
A series of confiscated photographs depicting simulated ceremonial rituals, led
to Rosaleen being charged in 1956 with 'engaging in unnatural sexual acts',
and she unwittingly aided in the public ruin of Sir Eugene Goosens, conductor
of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, who was both a member, from 1952, of
her coven and her lover. Her notoriety/fame endured throughout the 1950s and
1960s, with evermore lurid embellishments, up until her death at age 62. Quite
a life. This handsome volume includes most of the more 'notorious' examples
of her artwork as well as a sympathetic and perceptive analysis of her disparate
occult philosophy.Stephen Reid
Language & Writing
A People's Art History of the United States: 250
Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in
Social Justice Movements by Nicolas Lampert
Daily Rituals: A Selection of Writers' Daily
Routines & Writing Practices ($29.99, HB)
Anthony Trollope wrote 3,000 words every morning before heading off to his job at the Post Office. Toulouse-Lautrec did his best
work at night, sometimes even setting up his easel in brothels, and
George Gershwin composed at the piano in pyjamas and a bathrobe. Freud worked 16 hours a day, but Gertrude Stein could never
write for more than 30 minutes, and F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in
gin-fuelled bursts—he believed alcohol was essential to his creative process. From Marx to Murakami, Beethoven to Bacon, Daily
Rituals examines the working routines of more than 160 of the
greatest philosophers, writers, composers and artists.
Also New
Macquarie Concise Dictionary 6th ed,
$39.99, PB; $49.99, HB
Totes Ridictionary by Balthazar Cohen
'Totes ridic! Presh! Amazeballs! Adorbs! Obvs!' Everywhere
you look, in emails, tweets, Facebook posts, text messages,
blogs and even real-life conversations, Totes Ridicheads are
turning words into twee 'abbrevs', communicating in internet
acronyms, and embracing hashtags as a way of life. And sooner or later you'll need to become fluent in totes ridicularity. The
Totes Ridictionary will help you survive life in a world where
text-message abbreviations and Twitter slang are dancing on
the grave of the Oxford New English Dictionary. ($19.99, HB)
English for the Natives: Discover the Grammar
You Don't Know You Know by Harry Ritchie
Forget the little you think you know about English grammar
and start afresh with this highly entertaining and accessible
guide. English for the Natives outlines the rules and structures
of our language as they are taught to foreign students—and
have never before been explained to us. Harry Ritchie also
examines the grammar of dialects as well as standard English,
and shows how non-standard forms are just as valid. With examples from a wide variety of sources, from Ali G to John
Betjeman, Margaret Thatcher to Match of the Day, this essential book reveals some surprising truths about our language and teaches you all the
things you didn't know you knew about grammar. ($29.99, HB)
Cluetopia: The Story of 100 Years of the
Crossword by David Astle ($29.99, PB)
Crosswords are not as old as you think. The first one appeared
a century ago, and David Astle is here to toast the centenary,
whizzing you through 100 years of remarkable clues, seeking
the inside stories across the world. Travel to New Guinea, Venezuela and Metropolis: every destination arising from a clue.
Encounter love, murder, hoaxes, propaganda. Visit a Maori
funeral, a Bass Strait oil-rig, a Russian game show—just some
of side-trips locked inside a crossword. With almost 100 minichapters, each one with a clue to crack, Cluetopia is the perfect book for word
lovers and puzzle fans.
Dear Writer ...revisited... by Carmel Bird
'I first read Dear Writer as a nervy, secretive scribbler-in-jour-
nals 20 years ago. How comforted I was by the letters of Virginia O'Day—her kindly, lively voice, her practicality. Neither
patronising nor falsely encouraging, Virginia seemed the ideal
writing companion—here was someone who could explain
things that others seemed only to hint at. Reading this revised
version I'm struck again by its practical generosity on technical matters, but am also inspired by the deeper, more complex
conversations I think I missed in those early readings: about
courage, about the urgency and mystery and self-discovery of the writing process.
Dear Writer Revisited may masquerade‚ convincingly—as a book for beginners,
but its lessons are mature and wise'.—Charlotte Wood. Updated to accommodate
the digital age.
The Elements of Eloquence: How to turn the
perfect English phrase by Mark Forsyth
From King Lear's Howl, howl, howl to Channel 4's location
location location (via Tennyson and Tony Blair). From Crisis?
What Crisis? to Bond, James Bond. And from God creating
Heaven and earth to Guy Ritchie creating Lock Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels: join Mark Forsyth with the Muses on the
summit of Mount Parnassus as he tinkers wildly with zeugma,
merism, syllepsis and iambic pentameter in an eccentric (and
ultimately successful) attempt to write the perfect three sentences. Forsyth's new book does for literary and poetic style
what his The Etymologicon did for everyday words. ($29.99, HB)
Most people outside of the art world view art as something that
is foreign to their experiences and everyday lives. A People’s
Art History of the United States places art history squarely in the
rough-and-tumble of politics, social struggles, and the fight for
justice from the colonial era through to the present day. Author
and radical artist Nicolas Lampert combines historical sweep with detailed examinations of individual artists and works in a politically charged narrative that spans the conquest of the Americas, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, western expansion, the suffragette movement and feminism, civil rights movements, environmental
movements, LGBT movements, antiglobalisation movements, contemporary antiwar
movements, and beyond. ($59.95, HB)
Looking for Clancy by A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson
(ill) by Robert Ingpen ($34.99, HB)
In 1889 Australian folk poet, A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson, first published his
ballad, Clancy of the Overflow. The verse achieved immediate popularity and, with the creation of his legendary character, the free-spirited
stockman, Clancy, Paterson had summed up the essence of the Australian outback. Award-winning illustrator Robert Ingpen has journeyed
into the Australian outback, exploring the myth of Clancy through words and illustrations,
to find what it is that has made Clancy such an enduring figure in Australian folklore.
Unbelievers, or The Moor by John Mateer ($24, PB)
John Mateer’s previous poetry book Southern Barbarians traced the
influence of the Portuguese empire in the Indian Ocean. Unbelievers, or
The Moor takes this exploration one step further, to recover its Arabic
and Islamic origins in Al-Andalus, the Moorish state which occupied
much of present-day Spain & Portugal from the 8th to the 15th centuries. A seat of learning & culture, which combined Muslim, Christian
& Jewish influences, it provides a model for Mateer’s own mixed background as a South African Australian, and for his nomadic identity as
a poet. The collection is much concerned with influential but invisible
histories; with the poem as a moment of connection between languages
and cultures, so that it seems already to exist in translation; with doubles and hauntings,
friends in far places, and above all, what Mateer calls ‘the irony of Elsewhere’.
The Complete Lyrics, 1978–2013 by Nick Cave
'I walk into the corner of my room, see my friends in high places I
don't know which is which and whom is whom, they've stolen each
other's faces.' Spanning Nick Cave's entire career, from his writing for
The Birthday Party, through highly acclaimed albums like Murder Ballads, Henry's Dream, and Dig, Lazarus, Dig! up to his latest release,
Push the Sky Away, this fully updated edition of The Complete Lyric
1978–2013 is a must for all fans of the dark, the beautiful and the defiant. ($26.99, PB)
The Best 100 Poems of Dorothy Porter ($25, PB)
Dorothy Porter was one of Australia's true originals, renowned for her
passionate, punchy poetry and verse novels. This collection, the best of
her life's work as selected by her partner Andrea Goldsmith, presents the
many facets of Porter, from her break-out verse novel The Monkey's
Mask to her posthumous collection, The Bee Hut. Whether stretching
the fabric of ancient mythology, discovering the beauty of the natural
world or inking an intimate message on the heart, Porter's verse is endlessly captivating.
Poetry Please by Roger McGough ($39.99, HB)
The BBC has looked back through its rich archive of recordings to produce a poll of the most asked for and most broadcast pieces ever: it is
those poems that this anthology brings together here. A showcase, in effect, for the nation's favourite verse, Poetry Please is a treasure trove for
our most requested and most listened to poems of all time.
Also available on CD—$19.99
Train Songs: An Anthology
(eds) Don Paterson & Sean O'Brien ($24.99, HB)
Wordsworth was the first laureate of locomotives: in fact he railed
against them, and against the consequent opening up of the Lakes to
holiday hordes (On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway).
His dismay was echoed down the decades by disturbed ruralists, and yet
the train has become part of our psychic landscape: some of the bestloved English poems—Edward Thomas's Adlestrop, or Philip Larkin's
Whitsun Weddings—have celebrated carriages, platforms and waiting
rooms, while locomotion has inspired some of the most characteristic
poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Stevenson, Hardy and MacNeice,
Betjeman and Auden.
Vincent Van Gogh: The Years in France:
Complete Paintings 1886–890
by Walter Feilchenfeldt ($129.95, HB)
A contribution to a future catalogue raisonné of Vincent van
Gogh's work, this book is a comprehensive list of Van Gogh's
paintings executed between 1886 and 1890 in Paris, Arles,
Saint-Rémy & Auvers-sur-Oise. The works are reproduced
in full colour & appear in related scale to their original size.
All owners are registered, beginning with Theo van Gogh
or receivers of gifts, and ending with the present owners, if
known and willing to be mentioned. For the first time the paintings recorded in early
documents like the 'Andries Bonger Inventory List' of 1890 and the 1905 Amsterdam
Exhibition are completely identified, plus the book includes a wealth of new information of crucial importance to collectors, dealers, art historians and public institutions.
Philip Johnson and His Mischief:
Appropriation in Art and Architecture
by Christian Bjone ($35, PB)
The world of art itself is fair game to be pillaged or mined in
the production of new art, but there is almost no recognised
equivalent aesthetic in architecture. Philip Johnson consistently dealt with the concept of appropriation, and used it as
a design strategy from the very beginning of his illustrious
career. This book looks at the concept of appropriation and
how Johnson's style was influenced first by his mentor, Mies
van der Rohe, and then by post-modern ideas and artists. Charting his career through the
1980s and beyond, this book reviews Johnson's body of work, showing that, far from
being a weakness, his use of appropriation was a major part of his innovative success.
Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Painters
Bark painting, as practised by Aboriginal artists of Arnhem
Land for millennia, is one of the great traditions of world
art—only recognised as such late in the 20th century. This
book highlights the work of 40 master painters who have
carried one of the oldest continuing traditions of art into the
modern era, featuring the paintings of Narritjin Maymuru,
Yirawala, Mawalan Marika, David Malangi & their contemporaries. These men of high ritual standing were not only
artists, but also ceremonial & clan leaders, philosophers,
advocates for land rights and human rights, ambassadors
and politicians, who recognised the power of art as the most
eloquent means to build bridges between Aboriginal and European society. The book includes scholarly essays, biographies, portraits of the artists,
& 122 full-colour plates of the paintings, made between 1948 and 1988. ($39.95, PB)
The Age of Collage: Contemporary Collage in
Modern Art (eds) Silke Krohn et al
Because collage's references range from other artistic works
and techniques to scientific images, pop culture, and erotica,
these raw materials reflect humanity's collective visual memory and context, and beyond the lowbrow movement, which
brings a fresh perspective to figurative surrealism, more and
more established artists are now embracing this medium. The
Age of Collage showcases outstanding current artwork and artists, documenting this new appetite for destructive construction. The book also takes an insightful behind-the-scenes look at those working with
this interdisciplinary and cross-media approach. Through confident cuts, brush strokes,
mouse clicks, or pasting, collage gives the impossible a tangible form—while turning
our world view on its head along the way. ($81.50, HB)
Marcel Broodthaers: Works and Collected
Writings (ed) Gloria Moure ($135, HB)
Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) was to transform the category of artist completely, purging the vocation of its medium-specific implications to pursue a unified conceptualism
across media such as artist's books, prints, film, installation,
sculpture and writings. This book gathers his early poetry,
statements, critical essays, both published and unpublished,
open letters, interviews, preparatory notes and scripts alongside nearly 200 colour images in a massive and decisive
presentation of the artist's postmedium art.
The Arts
Quick Sketching with Ron Husband ($44, PB)
Quick sketching is the best technique you can use to stay
finely tuned and to keep those creative juices flowing. To
keep your sense of observation heightened, and to sharpen
your hand-eye coordination, an animator needs to constantly draw and sketch. Ron Husband offers instruction to quick
sketching and all its techniques. From observing positive
and negative space and learning to recognise simple shapes in complex forms to action analysis and using line of action, this Disney legend teaches you how to sketch
using all these components, and how to do it in a matter of seconds.
Fantasy Modern: Loudon Sainthill's Theatre
of Art and Life by Andrew Montana
Australian painter and theatre artist Loudon Sainthill and
his partner, entrepreneur and gallery director Harry Tatlock
Miller, were at the heart of avant-garde artistic and literary
circles in mid-20th century Melbourne, Sydney and London.
Sainthill’s art embraced painting, murals, book illustration,
textile design and fashion. He is best known for his costumes,
design and artwork for the theatre and ballet—including for
the Ballets Russes, Hélène Kirsova’s ballet company, and in
London, Michael Benthall’s production of The Tempest and Robert Helpmann’s Le
Coq d’Or. This sumptuously illustrated biography details Sainthill and Miller's life
and times, and contains much of Sainthill’s work along with never-before-published
archival photographs. ($89.95, HB)
The Vatican: All the Paintings—
The Complete Collection of Old Masters,
Plus More than 300 Sculptures, Maps,
Tapestries, and other Artefacts ($80, HB)
This book is organised and divided into 23 sections
representing the museums and areas of the Vatican, including the Pinacoteca, the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms, the Borgia Apartments, the Vatican Palaces,
St. Peter's Basilica and more. Its design enables the reader to carefully examine the
180 full- and half-page featured paintings as well as the rest of the collection of
paintings, which appear four and six to a page. Several gatefolds through the book
show triptychs, ceilings, and frescos at an even larger size. Larger works of art like
ceilings and frescos include overall views and details of the masterpieces.
Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900
by Hongxing Zhang ($79.99, HB)
Painting has always been regarded by the Chinese as a
supreme art, its merits equal to those of poetry and philosophy. The tradition can be traced over 2,500 years,
but many Chinese paintings were made to be viewed on
a temporary basis, displayed for just a few hours, or perhaps several weeks. The masterpieces of the form have
been seen very rarely, and then only by few, particularly
in the West. Presenting works from the richest and most
representative collections in the world, this book is an authoritative guide to these
great works, and includes the best paintings by the greatest masters as well as those
by lesser-known artists.
The Art of Drawing: British Masters Since
1600 by Susan Owens ($60, HB)
Featuring works by foremost British artists from the early
17th century up to the present day, this book offers fresh
insights into the wide range of ways in which British artists have used drawing to think on paper, build up ideas,
and make finished exhibition pieces. Taking examples
from the greatest masters, including Isaac Oliver, Peter
Lely, WIlliam Blake, Thomas Rowlandson, John Constable, Edwin Landseer, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward
Burne-Jones, Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, John
Piper, Sian Bowen and Grayson Perry, Susan Owens discusses the art and craft of
drawing, materials and techniques, and why artists chose them.
Art as Research: Opportunities and
Challenges (ed) Shaun McNiff ($27.95, PB)
The new practice of art-based research uses art making
as a primary mode of enquiry rather than continuing to
borrow research methodologies from other disciplines to
study artistic processes. Drawing on contributions from
arts therapies, education, history, organisational studies,
and philosophy, the essays critically examine unique challenges that include the personal and sometimes intimate
nature of artistic enquiry and the complexities of the partnership with social science which has dominated applied arts research; how artistic
discoveries are apt to emerge spontaneously, even contrary to plans and what we
think we know; how truth can be examined through both fact and fiction as well as
the interplay of objective and subjective experience; and ways of generating artistic
evidence and communicating outcomes.
Was $40
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The Cat's Table
Michael Ondaatje, HB
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Book Lust To Go
Nancy Pearl, PB
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The Definitive Wit of
Winston Churchill
Richard M. Langworth, HB
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A Fanatic Heart: Selected Stories
Edna O'Brien, PB
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Hemingway's Boat
Paul Hendrickson, HB
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The Kings & Queens of England
Ian Crofton, HB
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Waiting for Sunrise
William Boyd, HB
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May Gibbs: More Than a
Fairytale, An Artistic Life
Holden & Brummitt, HB
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The New Granta Book of Travel,
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The Big Book of Words
You Should Know
David Olsen et al, PB
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A Beginner's Guide to Philosophy
Dominique Janicaud, PB
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Lives of the Ancient Egyptians
Toby Wilkinson, HB
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Between You & I:
A Little Book of Bad English
James Cochrane, HB
Mathematics: The Big Questions Philosophy: The Big Questions
Tony Crilly, HB
Simon Blackburn, HB
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Ethics: The Big Questions
Julian Baggini, HB
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Physics: The Big Questions
Michael Brooks, HB
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The Atlantic & its Enemies:
A History of the Cold War
Norman Stone, HB
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Craig Taylor, HB
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London Under
Peter Ackroyd, HB
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The Table Comes First: Family,
France & the Meaning of Food
Adam Gopnik, HB
Venezia: Food & Dreams
Tessa Kiros, HB
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1001 Classical Recordings You
Must Hear Before You Die
(ed) Matthew Rye, HB
Fair World: A History of World's
Fairs & Expositions from London
to Shanghai 1851–2010
Paul Greenhalgh, HB
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Historic Maps & Views of Vienna
Hannah Schweizer, HB
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The Decorative Arts: From the
Middle Ages to the Renaissance
The Complete Plates, HB
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The 20th Century
World Architecture, HB
The Art Musem, HB
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A Natural History of the Piano:
The Instrument, the Music, the
Musicians from Mozart to Modern
Jazz & Everything in Between
Stuart Isacoff, HB
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Silent Spring
Rachel Carson, PB
Tibet: Land of Exile
Patricio Estay, HB
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Hannah Schweizer, HB
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A Man in Love
Karl Ove Knausgaard, PB
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Colleen Morris, HB
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South East Asian Food
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Moon Landing
40th Anniversary Pop-up, HB
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House by Robyn Stacey
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The Silver Spoon
Pasta, HB
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Australian Mongrel
David Darcy, HB
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Diamond Jubilee Limited Ed
Commemorative Box Set
of 13 prints
Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John
Whiteside Parsons by George Pendle. $29, PB
'Rocket Scientist Blows Himself Up!' screamed the headlines
about the mysterious explosion that killed 37 year old John Parsons in his makeshift laboratory on the outskirts of Pasadena in
June 1952. A double tragedy as it turned out, since his elderly
mother upon hearing the news, took her own life the same day.
The scientific community mourned a brilliant (if mildly eccentric)
rocket engineer whose experiments had advanced the understanding of rocket propulsion during the 1930s when few were taking
rocketry itself seriously.
Yet, the day of his death, before the arrival of the press, two friends hurriedly visited his
house to whitewash out a huge mural depicting Satan's visage. Turns out that Parsons
was also an ardent diabolist—a High Priest of the Church of Thelema—promoting the
ideas of the English occultist Aleister Crowley (1875–1947).
While Jack Parsons was conducting solid rocket fuel experiments for the US government on the eve of World War II, he had also rented a 25 acre (10 hectare) estate outside Pasadena. During the 1940s, following their masters' creed, 'Do What Thou Wilt
Shall Be the Whole of the Law', commune members, who included several fading silent
movie stars, indulged in as many drugs, drink and 'sex magick' rituals as they could
handle. Parson's first wife took off to Florida with L. Ron Hubbard, later the founder of
his own cult, Scientology, so Jack anointed her 17 year old stepsister as his new communal companion. As his behaviour became increasingly erratic, his isolation from the
world of rocketry intensified.
His final love interest was a young, red-headed wild child artist with whom he was planning to travel to Mexico for a new variation on the good life. His only income by now
was creating explosive special effects for the film industry. The day he was to leave for
Mexico he was rushing through a final order for a film company when disaster struck.
Robert Goddard, Albert Einstein, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov also make brief
appearances in this entertaining book examining the wilder side of American science
and culture.
The Satin Man: The Disappearance of the Beaumont Children
Revealed by Alan Whiticker and Stuart Mullins. $24.95, PB.
Seeing the photo on the cover of the three Beaumont children
strikes a nerve. They are my contemporaries. Jane Beaumont (9)
was my age. Her younger sister Arnna (7) and her brother Grant
(4) were the ages of two of my sisters. At 10 am on 26 January 1966 the three children catch a bus to Glenelg Beach. Jane
is given eight shillings and sixpence, 85 cents, ($10.00 in today's
values) by her mother Nancy to buy lunch. Having arrived, at
around 10.15 am they are recognised by and call out and wave to
the local postie. A school friend of Jane's sees them playing in the water at about 11.00
am. They had placed their towels in the shade at Colley Reserve, a small park directly
opposite the beach and were running in and out of the sprinklers. A Glenelg woman later
notices them playing with a man described as between 30 to 40 years old tall, slender.
Other witnesses later see him dressing them and the three children apparently waiting for him. The children are last seen 'around midday' when they buy their lunch at
Wenzel's Cakes—paying with a £1.00 note ($50.00). Someone had given them a large
amount of money. They are not seen again. They fail to return home on the 2.00 pm bus
as arranged and are reported missing by their parents that evening.
Journalist Whiticker follows his previous book on the case with a presentation of new
evidence and leads. A potential suspect (now deceased ) is named pseudonymously—a
businessman who may have been involved in the disappearance and buried the children
in an Adelaide factory. The evidence, including interviews with family members, is not
entirely conclusive but is tantalisingly suggestive. Certainly worthy of further investigation by authorities.
White Gold by Giles Milton. Paperback. $24.99, PB
'As the sun rose spectacularly over the city’s eastern ramparts and
the men were led through the principal gate, they were tormented
by jeering, hostile Moors. We were met and surrounded by vast
crowds of them ... offering us the most vile insults. As word of
their arrival spread through the souks, more and more people
flocked to the city in order to mock the hated Christians. They
surged towards the frightened captives and tried to beat them
with sticks and batons'.—Cornish cabin boy, Thomas Pellow,
aged 11, recalling the start of his 20 year captivity by Barbary
Corsair pirates in 1716.
Did you know that between 1550 & 1750 over one million Europeans were captured and
enslaved? I didn't. Algiers alone was a prison for anywhere between 25,000 to 50,000
slaves. Slaves markets also flourished in Tunis and Morocco where Thomas was sent.
His purchaser was Sultan Moulay Ismail, a murderous tyrant committed to constructing
a vast pleasure palace of some 450 kms! that extended from Meknes to Marrakesh—
built entirely by Christian slave labour. After enduring much torture, Pellow converted
to Islam and became the personal slave of the sultan for over two decades, including
service as a soldier in the sultan’s army, before finally making his escape & returning
to Cornwall. This is an excellent account of the white slave trade, supported by unpublished letters & manuscripts of slaves& the various ambassadors sent to free them.
In my last column of 2013 may I wish all Gleaner readers an enjoyable Holiday Season.
May we meet again. Stephen Reid
Stephen Reid: William Manchester and Paul Reid—The Last Lion Trilogy: Winston
Spencer Churchill. 3 Vol Box Set ($190, HB). Vol 1—Visions of Glory 1874–1932 (pub.
1983); Vol 2—Alone 1932–1940 (pub. 1988); Vol 3—Defender of the Realm 1940–1965
(pub. 2013) More than three decades in the writing, William Manchester's marvellous biography has been triumphantly completed at last. Manchester (1922–2004), incapacitated
by illness in 1998, asked fellow author Paul Reid to finish the work. A masterly, kaleidoscopic presentation of Churchill in all his multifaceted guises both private and public.
Nearly 3,000 pages ... but don't let that deter you. Dive into this wonderfully written narrative! Biography in the grand manner just as its towering subject deserves.
Our 2013 favourites
Sally Gaunt: My pick of the year is HhhH, a gripping World
War 2 thriller by Frenchman Laurent Binet, which throws
spine-chilling light onto the workings of the SS while also
examining questions around historiography.
Judy Kirkwood: When anyone escapes, my heart / leaps up.
Even when it's I who am escaped from, / I am half on the side
of the leaver. Sharon Olds can write this after her beloved
husband of thirty years is leaving to be with a new woman!
Yet there is nothing easy, languid or passive in this cycle of
poems. Stag's Leap is full and brimming with passion, anger,
humour and life. She is a magnificently sensual poet and this
has to be my favourite read of the year.
Toby Fitch: Autoethnographic by Michael Brennan—
Michael Brennan's third collection of poetry is a surreal
series of prose poems much like columns or skyscrapers in
shape, set in a 'dystopic near-present', narrated by a slew of
protean, gender-ambiguous characters who seem to be dealing psychically with the fallout of democratic capitalism. The
strangeness of these poems—as one of the narrators echoes,
and as with all good poetry, 'it makes me feel more human'.
David McLaughlin: The best Australian book I read this
year was Tim Winton's Eyrie. I also loved Hannah Kent's
Burial Rites. The best crime book was either A.S.A Harrison's The Silent Wife (smart, very unnerving) or Adrian
McKinty's I Hear the Sirens in the Street (a cracker). The
best international novel was the ambitious, adventurous The
Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. But the best of the best
was Alice Munro's short story collection, Dear Life. It was a
pleasure to read: subtle, profound and true.
Jonathon Collerson: Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book II by Ben
H. Winters is the second book in an award-winning trilogy. It uses a quasi
detective structure to present scenes from the disintegration of America as it
counts down to the impact of an asteroid that will devastate Earth. It is sometimes very dark, allowing only a trace of light in the loving relationships that
matter at the end. It is a good book for someone who enjoys things apocalyptic
and slightly fantastic. The third book will be out mid-2014.
Jack Harkin: HHhH by Laurent Binet—Kevin Hart’s definition of postmodernism 'as marking an attitude of disbelief towards the modern' accurately
describes Laurent Binet’s narrative approach to the rise and fall of SS General Reinhard Heydrich. A well-documented 'true story' that draws Binet into
a continuous sieving of histories, films and novels until an astonishing portrait
of bravery emerges. His description of the defiance shown by Czech resistance
fighters (in the crypt of a Prague church) against a Nazi siege has stayed with
me all year.
Andrew Sims: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner was a great discovery
this year—a mercurial, heady, 'sophomore' effort which has left me hankering
for this young writer's next novel. But I also have to mention (in the absence
of a collected volume as yet available) Opened Ground: Poems 1966–1996 by
Seamus Heaney. It is currently the only available selection of the Nobel Prize
winning poet who died in August.
Tamarra Burnett: Blood and Beauty by Sarah Dunant—An enjoyable and
at times brutal romp through Renaissance Italy centred around the Borgia families who have been referred to as the first Italian Crime Family. If you enjoyed
the TV series The Borgias, have a stab at the book.
Elizabeth Allen: The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane—I love this book. I love the
tiger in this book. Tigers keep cropping up in the literature I read. I have encountered
them all my life—in childhood tales like The Tiger Who Came to Tea and more recently
in books such as The Life of Pi. They have a certain symbolic and imaginative power that
someone has no doubt written a PhD thesis about. The tiger is not the only good thing
about this book, there are also the finely realised characters, the language and that sense
of connection and wonder that you get when you read a really good book. The writer’s
ability to lock words together to express the things about being alive that you privately
thought you were the only one who knew, to make you identify with the thoughts and
feelings that you would have if you were that character in that situation, to make you recognise and at the same time realise something new. It made me repeatedly stop and think,
‘Wow, she just nailed that!’ Australian fiction is alive. Five stars (out of five).
Suzi McConnaghy: It is always difficult to describe any book as 'the best book', but there
are two books I've read over the last 12 months that have lingered long in my mind. They
are Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Although wildly
different in style, both grapple with issues of considerable significance. Barracuda is an
extraordinary exploration of masculinity, sexuality and the fundamental question of what
it means to be 'a good man', while The Goldfinch is a staggeringly powerful epic of love,
loss, treachery, betrayal, terrorism and art fraud, well worth the ten year wait from Tartt's
last book. Both are not to be missed.
Ingrid Anderson: My favourite book for the year, for sheer readability, is Life After Life
by Kate Atkinson. It was one of those books that I wanted to read again as soon as I had
finished it. Honourable mention, too, for Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. Its superlative
descriptions of Manhattan in the 1980s alone make it a must.
John Walsh: I must admit to being a fan of Philipp Meyer, and nominate his latest novel,
The Son, as my Book of the Year. Told through the lives of three generations of one of
Texas' wealthiest families, The Son is a sprawling tale of Texas drenched in blood, oil,
greed and conflict. Outstanding.
Scott Donovan: Ludwig Wittgenstein: the Duty of Genius by Ray
Monk—Some years old now but still the definitive biography of the great
Austrian thinker/nutcase. Easy to read and frequently hilarious!
James Paull: Merivel: A Man of His Time by Rose Tremain—An elegiac masterpiece.
Merivel, older and more world-weary than when we encountered him in Restoration,
struggles to reconcile the wonder of life with the many and varied defects of humanity as
his own mortality looms. WhyTremain has never won the Booker continues to baffle me.
Meaghan Gregory: Juliet Marillier is my favourite science fiction author, and in Shadowfell she has woven a wonderful story about friendship,
bravery and forbidden magic.
David Gaunt: Richard Flanagan's Narrow Road to the Deep North is an outstanding
novel in a year choc-a-bloc with very good fiction. It's a haunting, powerful, deeply
touching book about love & death, & the (literally) unforgettable impact of war on lives.
ABN 87 000 357 317
Mandy: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
& K G Campbell (ill)—Hilarious, quirky illustrated tale featuring 10-yearold Flora Belle (a natural-born cynic), a most unattractive little shepherdess
lamp named Mary Ann, and Ulysses the squirrel, a superhero born of ridiculous and unlikely circumstances. One of my very favourite children’s authors.
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Tatjana Pastrovic: Instant: The Story of Polaroid. A product as cool in the
50s, 60s and 70s as Apple is today, it cranked out one irresistible product after
another. This reads like a Greek tragedy...starting with Polaroid's first instant
camera in 1948 and the company's meteoric rise, to the dramatic collapse into
bankruptcy in the 2000s. Polaroid Years: Instant Photography & Experimentation explores the influence and fascinating way Polaroid photographs have
been used by people like Ansel Adams, David Hockney and Ray and Charles
Eames and manipulated by artists like Walker Evans, David Levinthal and
John Reuter.
Tim Gaunt: My book of the year was Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben
Learner, which is a hilarious novel about a brilliantly unlikeable American
poet floundering in Spain on a fellowship.
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Bestsellers Non-fiction
1. My Mother, My Father: On Losing a Parent
(ed) Susan Wyndham
2. The World We Made: Alex McKay's Story from
Jonathon Porritt
3. One Summer: America 1927­—The Moment America
Discovered Its Future
Bill Bryson
4. Mad Marathon: The Story of the 2013 Election Mungo MacCallum
5. 1914: The Year the World Ended
Paul Ham
6. The Stalking of Julia Gillard: How Team Rudd and
the Media Contrived to Bring Down the
Prime Minister
Kerry-Anne Walsh
7. Murder in Mississippi: United States v Price & the
Struggle for Civil Rights John Safran
8. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Was Shot by the Taliban
Malala Yousafzai
9. On the Trail of Genghis Khan
Tim Cope
10. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who
Launched Modern China
Jung Chang
Bestsellers Fiction
1. Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan
2. Eyrie
....... and another thing
Another Gleaner year over and I have a library-length list of books I want to
read in my break. Starting with the new Tim Winton and Christos Tsiolkas,
and then I really must try Fiona McFarlane's Night Guest—it has been so thoroughly recommended. For my favourite book of the year I'm in agreement with
Jack and Sally. As soon as I started Laurent Binet's HHhH I knew it was going
to be hard to beat, and everyone I've given it to this year has been similarly
impressed. Recently I've been reading Dear Writer ... Revisited. Carmel Bird's
charming guide to writing fiction is an equally inspiring guide to reading. Julian Barnes' Guardian essay on Penelope Fitzgerald, published in his collection
Through the Window, had filed her in my mind as someone I must get around
to—and something in Bird's pages tweaked intention to action. So I grabbed
a copy of The Bookshop, a quietly tragic tale of a failed attempt at late life
change via the book trade, and petty small town politics. Fitzgerald is a master
of the well-placed adjective—something one watches out for after reading Carmel Bird. Her characterisation of both people and place is so precise, sharp but
never mean, I was wanting to reread it to see how it was done before I'd finished
the first chapter. I look forward to her other books, and also to Hermione Lee's
new biography of Fitzgerald (p.8). Another writer I've just discovered who has
a deft pen is Poe Ballantine—his memoir Love & Terror on the Howling Plains
of Nowhere is a pleasure to read. Well, that's it from me for 2013. Don't forget
there'll be a Summer Reading Guide coming your way in November. Thank you
to all the contributors to this year's magazine, and thank you to our loyal readership. All the best for 2014. Viki
Tim Winton
3. The Antibiography of Robert F Menzies
Bernard Cohen
4. The Luminaries Eleanor Catton
5. Questions of Travel
6. Burial Rites
7. What the Ground Can't Hold
8. Coal Creek
9. The Night Guest
10. Murder & Mendelssohn
Michelle de Kretser
Hannah Kent
Shady Cosgrove
Alex Miller
Fiona McFarlane
Kerry Greenwood
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Main shop—49 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9660 2333, Fax: (02) 9660 3597. Open 7 days, 9am to 9pm Thur–Sat; 9am to 7pm Sun–Wed
Gleebooks 2nd Hand—189 Glebe Pt Rd; Ph: (02) 9552 2526. Open 7 days, 10am to 7pm
Sydney Theatre Shop—22 Hickson Rd Walsh Bay; Open two hours before and until after every performance
Blackheath—Shop 1, Collier's Arcade, Govetts Leap Rd; Ph: (02) 4787 6340. Open 7 days, 9am to 6pm
Dulwich Hill­—536 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill; Ph: (02) 8080 0098. Open 7 days, 9am to 7pm, Sunday 9 to 5 Email: [email protected], [email protected]